In what has become a weekly ritual, Corey Nash had a few guests over on a recent Wednesday night for a podcast.
On this particular night, it was Tricia Cramer, with whom Nash co-hosts the podcast “Cheshire Cast,” and George Constanti, owner of Fuoco Apizza, a new restaurant that will soon open at 461 West Main St.
So that night’s conversation would center on pizza — a discussion that included a good-natured debate on a timeless subject: which is better, New Haven coal-fired pizza or New York-style thin crust pizza?
Constanti, whose restaurant will specialize in the New Haven coal-fired version pizza, had just arrived, walking into a room with a large sofa, coffee table, TV and microphone stands in each corner. Nash sat behind one microphone, with a computer monitor to his right and a Les Paul electric guitar displayed on the wall.
Cramer sat back on the couch, across the coffee table from Nash. Nash gave Constanti just a few instructions.
“Sit wherever you feel comfortable,” Nash said to him. After Constanti sat, Nash pointed toward the microphone near their guest’s chair. “Pretend you’re in jail. Get super close to it,” Nash said.
With that, the 63rd episode of the Cheshire Cast launched — a show that Nash and Cramer began broadcasting in September 2018. Now they’re booking guests about two months in advance, Cramer said.
The podcast now averages about 4,000 downloads and streams a month, stated Nash, who explained that the podcast was begun because he had wanted to do a program that was “community service based.” That desire stemmed largely from his role as an administrator of the Cheshire CT Community Forum on Facebook.
“I noticed there was a lot of information passing back and forth on that forum. The problem is, a lot of the information gets misinterpreted or misunderstood because people don’t understand nuances,” Nash said. “So I’m going to do a podcast ...”
“… Which explains all the nuances,” Cramer said, finishing Nash’s sentence.
“Yes, more or less,” Nash added. “Or at least highlight the nuance, and point it out.”
Nash said he also wanted to give people the chance to hear his voice. He said he realized in the process of making the podcast, he wanted to introduce listeners to town business owners, directors of area nonprofits and other community leaders.
Nash put out a call on Facebook asking that anyone interested in being a co-host get it touch with him.
“Tricia messaged me. We had a back and forth. I felt like we hit it off,” Nash said. “Episode one is when we met.”
“We knew the first episode was going to be a pseudo-interview so to speak,” Cramer said. “I didn’t know what I was walking into.”
But, she said, the idea of a podcast sounded fun.
The pair have been co-hosts ever since that first meeting.
Their guests have included not just local business owners, including Brian Giampietro, owner of Brian’s Guitars on West Main Street, but most of the candidates who ran for seats on the Town Council and Board of Education this past election, for question-and-answer sessions prior to Nov. 5.
“We’re a conversational style podcast. We like to highlight businesses, nonprofits, anyone who does well by Cheshire,” Cramer said. “We like to highlight people who are moving Cheshire forward.”
Corey brought some radio background to the podcast. He had been a DJ on his college radio station at Southern Connecticut State University. He is also a musician, a passion he was able to expound upon when Giampietro was their guest.
“This is the only friendship I have that’s been completely recorded,” Nash said, of the relationship he and Cramer have maintained so far in co-hosting the show. Those recordings include outtakes and other conversations that have not been posted online.
It would be difficult to tell, based on the pair’s dialogue, that they have not actually known each other for years. Nash is a Cheshire native, while Cramer hails from New York.
Their conversations “take left and right turns, but we will quickly bring them back in,” Nash said, of how the episodes flow. “We don’t go on these sidetracks that take completely away from the primary subject. Tonight’s episode we’re going to talk about pizza. We’re not going to talk about President Trump or Congress — that would take away from pizza. The goal is to promote a small business coming into Connecticut.”
Nash lobbed a good-natured verbal jab in his co-host’s direction after Cramer said Constanti’s name. “I can’t wait to do our episode with you messing up people’s last names,” he said, before bringing the show on topic: “We’re going to talk pizza today.”
Cramer added, “We’re going to talk so many cool things. We’re going to talk West Main. We’re going to talk pizza. We’re going to talk Cheshire.”
Of course, during the exchange, Cramer was able to add her own witty retort to Nash’s remark about mispronouncing names during show introductions.
“Why don’t you ever do it, Mr. Perfect?” she asked.
Cramer then remarked on the dark gray beanie-style winter cap Nash was wearing. It looked remarkably similar to the cap worn by The Edge — guitarist for the rock band U2. Then they discussed youth football in Cheshire and Nash’s YouTube video-honed automobile mechanic skills.
While the show’s calendar may be filled up over the next two months, Nash and Cramer said they will make exceptions for nonprofit groups promoting local events, like Lights of Hope.
“We will make sure to get them in before their event and get the episode in and out before their event,” Cramer said.