Songs at the Center

Season 4, Episode 13 of 13

Songs at the Center's season-ending compilation special features some of our season's most compelling artists doing great, original material we have never broadcast. All original and very compelling. From seasoned pros to young up-and-comers you will want to learn more about, our compilation shows always bring strong, positive audience response! MICAH KESSELRING was raised in the Appalachia foothills of southeastern Ohio. Cutting his teeth on the Columbus blues scene, he soon made his way to Memphis, TN, for the International Blues Challenge, representing the Columbus Blues Alliance in the Youth Showcase category. Following a performance at the Blues City Cafe on Beale Street, he was awarded the inaugural Generation Blues scholarship at the age of 15. Micah later went on to perform as a special guest with the Otis Taylor Band at the Blues Music Awards in May of 2009 and was a finalist in the International Blues Challenge in 2016. MARC COHN shares fascinating stories about his creative process. After winning a Grammy Award for his soulful, iconic ballad, "Walking in Memphis," Marc has solidified his place as one of this generation's most compelling singer/songwriters, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great soul man. He's a natural storyteller, balancing the exuberant with the poignant, and able to distill universal truth out of his often romantic, drawn-from-life tales. TIME magazine calls Marc "one of the honest, emotional voices we need in this decade" and Bonnie Raitt declared, "Marc is one of the most soulful, talented artists I know. I love his songs, he's an incredible singer, and I marvel at his ability to mesmerize every audience he plays for." She, along with James Taylor, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Patty Griffin all made guest appearances on Cohn's records for Atlantic. In 2016, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his platinum-selling debut album, Marc proudly released Careful What you Dream: Lost Songs and Rarities and the bonus album, Evolution of a Record, featuring never-before-heard songs and demos dating back to years before his debut and the Grammy that followed. SADIE JOHNSON & GRACE MATOMBE are students at Marietta College, who we discovered in our Songwriting Workshops. Sadie first picked up the guitar at the age of six and has since developed into an inspiring blues guitarist, composer and performer. Recently opening for Delbert McClinton, she has numerous individual and ensemble jazz fest awards. Sadie is also a compassionate leader with a heart for children and music therapy, serving as a representative for Blue Star Connection, an organization that provides instruments to children with cancer and other illnesses. Grace is from the Congo. Her passion is Gospel music, of which she says, "If music heals the soul, Gospel music heals the spirit, the heart, the thoughts, and the soul." She plays and writes on the keyboard. THE TRIO consists of three Grammy Award-Winning songwriters from Nashville. CARL JACKSON was born in the small town of Louisville, Mississippi. By the time he was eight years old, thanks to his father's influence and a burning desire inside, he was already well on his way to being an accomplished musician. Glen Campbell, with whom he played 12 years, called him "The greatest banjo player in the world." As a vocalist, he has recorded with EmmyLou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, Garth Brooks, Janie Fricke, Dolly Parton, and other top names. His songs have been recorded by Vince Gill, Glen Campbell, Trisha Yearwood, and many, many others. LARRY CORDLE, a native of eastern Kentucky, was a childhood friend and neighbor of fellow musical prodigy, Ricky Skaggs. Upon hearing Cordle's new song, "Highway 40 Blues," Ricky promised that he would one day record it. In the summer of 1983, it was the number one song in the nation, helping to launch Larry's songwriting career and skyrocketing Skaggs' already solid country music career. At last count, Larry's songs had appeared on projects that have sold a combined total of more than 55 million records, by artists such Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and many others. JERRY SALLEY has been referred to by Billboard Magazine as "One of Music Row's greatest veteran tunesmiths." The 2003 SESAC Country Music Songwriter of the Year, Jerry has had over 450 songs recorded in his multi-award winning career. Jerry's songs have sold in excess of 15.5 million records worldwide. His songs have been recorded by some of today's biggest country stars, including Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire and Brad Paisley. As an artist himself, Jerry has performed many times on the Grand Ole Opry, Late Night with David Letterman, and NBC'S Today Show. ERIC GNEZDA, creator and host of Songs at the Center, is also an award-winning songwriter. Eric and his work have been featured on media around the world. He is a recipient of the Ohioana Citation for Music Composition, joining Michael Feinstein (American Songbook), Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane), and Chip Davis (Mannheim Steamroller). Eric is a regular performer at Nashville's iconic songwriting venue, The Bluebird Cafe. He is also an Emmy-nominated television journalist.

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