Boston music, like its history, is unique.
Above The Basement is a Boston based podcast hosted by Chuck Clough and Ronnie Hirschberg that features casual and candid discussions with local, national and international musicians, artists, producers and others from Boston and beyond.
The conversations offer experiences from those shaping our music community and for whom music is a passion. You hear their stories, hardships faced and overcome...and why they love what they do.
While music is the common thread, Above The Basement has evolved into conversations that harness human interest, culture and community, bridging into discussions about health, science, education and other aspects of life.
They have bridged topics like the environment with Eagles songwriter and drummer Don Henley, mindfulness with singer-songwriter Jewel, social justice with the amazing organization Boston Children’s Chorus and healing with Mary Gauthier through the wonderful program SongwritingWith:Soldiers.
Chuck and Ronnie have also spoken with highly acclaimed local artists and organizations including Keith Lockhart, Blue Man Group, Sally Taylor, Jennifer Kimball, Moe Pope and Alastair Moock to talk about their own personal missions.
Their guests are truly special and Chuck and Ronnie are honored to be part of their journey, while helping them tell their story.
founder and host
Growing up in Concord, Massachusetts, Chuck began playing guitar at a young age and had various bands throughout his career.
A graduate of Northeastern University (BA History, '91), Chuck moved to New York in 1992 to attend The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AOS, '94) for acting and was a member of the American Academy Company ('95).
As a producer at VagaBOND Theatre Company, Chuck acted in and produced several original off-off Broadway plays and later produced independent feature films.
In 1994 he began playing music again and co-founded acoustic rock trio Northern Point which released 3 albums: November (2005), Northern Point - Live at St. James Gate (2008) and After The Frost (2010).
In 2010 Chuck moved back to Boston and co-founded The Butler Frogs with David G. Moore, Ronnie Hirschberg, Tim Fiehler and Greg Mara. Their first EP will come out Spring 2018.
He left the corporate world in the fall of 2016 and Above The Basement now has his full attention.
co-founder and host
Ronnie grew up in Western NY, forming his first band, The Underground, in 1985. After moving to Burlington, VT for school, he found a songwriting-improvisation balance with his band, ironically called Chuck. They played various colleges throughout New England and New York.
In The Late 90's, his path turned toward a career in medicine, and after nine years of school and residency training, he became a physiatrist specializing in trauma rehabilitation with emphasis on traumatic brain and spinal cord injury and polytrauma.
He has been fortunate to play with and perform for several of his patients and has seen the impact of music on recovery and the brain, and the impact that individual's recoveries have had on his and other's music.
In 1995, he recorded a self-titled compilation of jazz-influenced pop songs. In 2011,Ronnie began the Deer Mountain Songwriter Series to collaborate with musicians outside of Boston. He continues as a singer-songwriter and has been a proud Butler Frog since 2012.
Ronnie lives in Acton, Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
Guest Host - Jonathan Beakley
A technologist by trade, Jonathan enjoys writing and performing music. For five years, he was forum columnist for his hometown paper, the Carlisle Mosquito.
He is the drummer for The Hip Replacements and 7 of 7, and also occasionally sits in with The Butler Frogs and Laura Poisson and Friends. His college band, Persona Non Grata, contributed to the Incas Records collaborative album Getting Noticed, which is priceless in the sense that it is now impossible to find.
Jonathan has been studying Latin and Afrobeat drumming styles since 2013 from Boston-based drum guru Adam Clark.
He is also on the Above The Basement Board of Advisors.
Jonathan lives in Carlisle with his wife and three children.
Joe Wallace - Photographer
I have always loved a good story. Devouring books and films or listening to my grandfather's amazing adventures.
I trained as a writer and spent 10 years selling stories in advertising. The last twelve years I've been joyfully telling stories through photographs.
My approach to photography applies a fine art sensibility to the journalist’s eye for storytelling. I love crafting an arresting visual narrative and cherish the energy and magic of collaboration. Whether with subject, client, or other artists - projects are richer and more rewarding when each person is given space to express their own unique viewpoint.
When not behind the camera, you can find me running in the woods, wrestling with my kids, or spinning a ridiculous yarn for anyone who will listen.
My clients include The Ritz Carlton, SAP, GlaxoSmithKlein, Callaway Golf, and Jean Michele Cousteau.
Michelle Gendreau - Photographer
I grew up on a farm in northern Maine where I spent an unusual amount of time sitting in mud puddles and ran away from home on a regular basis, just never long enough for anyone to notice. I read stacks of books while perched in trees or hiding under the porch, but my favorite escape was the roof.
A lapse in judgment led me to a degree in economics. After a brief stint in the corporate world, when it became clear a change was in order, I went back to school and got a degree in education. And then I had kids—three girls who are my world.
I began photographing my daughters as a way to document the uninhibited things kids do. When I'm doing it right, photography brings me back to the rawness of my own childhood. The images I truly love creating are the ones that capture reality and celebrate quirk.
Maria Landi - Associate / Music Connections and Social Media
Maria is a singer-songwriter currently studying Songwriting at Berklee College of Music. She was introduced to music when she took her first violin lesson at three years old. Since, she has studied violin, piano, guitar, and voice, and although she was raised a classical musician, Maria currently sings and writes in more contemporary styles.
Her writing style is primarily focused around her lyrics, and her goal is to convey emotions to her listeners that they may not have otherwise been able to put into words themselves.
She has a passion for sharing musician’s stories and their unique musical voice, and is excited to help broaden ATB’s exposure and bring recognition to so many talented artists.
Jackson Parker - Associate
Jackson Parker, a senior at Acton Boxborough Regional High School, has been an avid fisherman, downhill skier, and outdoorsman for many years.
But above all, he is a consummate musician. Chosen as “most likely to be on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine” by his classmates, Jackson possesses a facility, understanding, and passion for music that goes well beyond his years. He’s been playing acoustic and electric guitar for almost a decade and recently added bass and drums to his musical wheelhouse.
He’s performed at many local and regional venues, from street fairs to coffee shops, dive bars to upscale restaurants, farmers’ markets to a Rock-n-Roll float at the Chatham 4th of July parade. He delivers each and every time, with professionalism and jaw-dropping technical ability, whether he’s playing as part of an acoustic duo, or, currently, as lead guitarist for the Sophia Ward Band, a rising alt-rock ensemble that’s gaining traction on the local music scene, most recently placing second in the Last Band Standing finals at the Hard Rock Café.
Jackson heads to Hobart College in Geneva, NY in September.
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