Ron Belanger, Bass
A veteran of the Boston/Worcester rock scenes, Ron switches his time between bass (The Winter Project) and drums (The Chelsea Curve). Ron, along with Chris Meusel, founded The Winter Project in the fall of 2015 as a return to music after taking some time off from the scene to raise a family. He has been playing and writing music with Chris on and off for the past 30 years.
Ron’s musical influences include punk, post punk, alt pop and all of the 50’s rockabilly he grew up listening to from his father’s record collection. He has bought more records and seen more live rock shows than is probably healthy.
Previous bands: The Meltaways, Krebstar, Flat Stanley, and The Shortsleeves.
“The highlight of being in The Winter Project is the annual recording sessions. It’s always so rewarding to hear my piss poor iPhone demos slowly turn into full-fledged rock songs, thanks to my talented bandmates, all of who are far more talented than I am.”
Chris Meusel, Guitar
Chris picked up his first guitar in 9th grade and mock played a version of John Denver’s “Take Me Home” with a classmate at the annual school talent show. Five years later he picked up a used Ovation, learned to play a few chords, and formed a band with some friends in Worcester. Sharing an apartment in Worcester during their college years, Ron and Chris wrote many songs together, some of which influenced new writing in The Winter Project. During the 1990’s Chris switched to playing bass guitar and played original music with several bands in the Boston rock scene. Taking a hiatus from stage performance in the 2000’s, Chris learned a wide variety of songs strumming his acoustic and crooning in his backyard, sometimes to the dismay, but often to the delight of his neighbors.
Chris has been influenced by a wide range of music, 70’s classic rock, 80’s hair bands, 90’s alternative and everyday modern pop. While not working with The Winter Project, Chris plays in a blues and classic rock cover band, Never 2 Late, and attends every open mic he finds.
“It’s an amazing feeling to write a simple song bashing away on an acoustic and see it come to life in rehearsal and the studio with a band. Everyone adding their own story to the mix and making it so much more than it was.”
Previous bands: The Dirge, The Meltaways, and The Shortsleeves.
John Ehrlinger, Drums
Cleveland native, John started realizing his dreams of banging on drums in fourth grade. Music became the guiding beacon through high school, for better and worse. John played in school music programs and never turned down a chance to play cover tunes with anyone. Influenced by the progressive and fusion groups of the era, John started playing covers of Led Zeppelin and Emerson Lake and Palmer songs until finding a Rush cover band, the swirling cover band black hole of drummers. After high school, John was a founding member of Mannequin Parade, laying the groove for the all original post-progressive pop tunes and playing clubs around Cleveland.
“There is a joy in taking all the music you’ve ever listened to, and creating something that is uniquely yours… letting your own musical voice speak within the construct of other band mates voices.”
After relocating to Boston, John answered The Winter Project call when their resident drummer was forced into retirement by an unfortunate shop accident in the Spring of 2017. Since then, John has brought his unique style to The Winter Projects emotive songs.
Tim McDonald, Lead Vocals
Tim grew up in the Boston area, with an appreciation for most rock and popular music. He hooked up with his first band, Innocent Friction, as a senior in high school. Singing with I.F. gave TIm his first exposure to the local scene; the band played in several now long gone clubs such as the Alley Pub and Barmuda Triangle in Kenmore Square, Spanky’s Night Life at the Continental Cafe in Somerville, and others. For years after, Tim got bogged down with work and basic adulting, all while working on his own songwriting, singing, and guitar playing. In 2009, Tim began playing acoustic covers on a consistent basis throughout Eastern Mass. with long-time friend Jeff Manzella; the duo is now in their tenth year playing together.
Tim joined up with local band Kangaroo Court in 2011, playing guitar and singing backup vocals. The Court recorded two EPs and played several clubs in the Boston/Cambridge area including the Middle East, T.T. the Bear’s Place, Copperfields, and others. The players went their separate ways sometime in 2017, though the music lives on.
Tim answered an ad from The Winter Project and felt a connection to their music immediately. His vocal style suits their rock sound well, and he got on with the band great from the first rehearsal. Tim is looking forward to working on the upcoming release with TWP, collaborating and contributing some of his own ideas for songs.
Ken Cerreto, Lead Guitar
A self-identified guitar gear whore and long-time noodler, The Winter Project found lead guitarist Ken Cerreto under an online rock (through a long-forgotten “Yet Another Guitar Player Looking for a Band” post). Ken took his first guitar lesson at the tender age of 13, the day after Stevie Ray Vaughan was tragically killed. It was apparent from the beginning that the spirit of SRV decidedly did NOT possess Ken, and the guitar lesson sucked because the dude wouldn’t stop crying. But Ken kept on playing. Through high school and college, Ken jammed and played in several bands, covering classic rock, 90’s grunge, indie rock, punk, and metal as well as writing and recording original material. He was on the air in Worcester, MA for four years in the late 90’s as a DJ and Announcing Director at 88.1 FM, WCHC, which exposed him to an enormous variety of college rock, punk, indie, and grunge from struggling bands up to the top stars and everyone in between.
While attending grad school, working, and raising a family, Ken tinkered away at guitar in obscurity: learning new material, playing in drunken jams and crappy bands, writing and recording on his own songs, obsessing over gear, and wishing for the time and availability of a guitar spot in a great band. Ken joined The Winter Project in early 2018 and quickly devoured the band’s three albums of material. With the support of his new rock n roll big brothers, Ken has honed his unique style of playing, which includes subtle rhythm work, brash, heavy riffs, gritty leads, and not playing anything at all when the song demands it. Combined with Chris Meusel’s solid, steady playing style, the addition of a second guitar to the line-up has added more dynamics to the band’s sound and increased musical possibilities in the studio and on stage.