Songs at the Center on Alabama Public Television
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Songs at the Center

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Artists: Cheley Tackett, Micah Kesselring, Mandy Cook, and hosted by songwriter Eric Gnezda. CHELEY TACKETT grew up in Ohio. Her blend of lyrical intensity and melodic craftsmanship has earned her recognition and respect in Nashville, a town where being a stand-out is a rare achievement. American Country Magazine suggests Cheley's song 'Play the One I Like' '...might be the best song that I've heard this year so far.' Acclaimed as much for her songwriting as for her artistry, Cheley won the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival's New Folk competition, among others. Also a much sought-after demo singer on Music Row, Cheley's sultry voice and velvety moments are uniquely her own. 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. MANDY COOK forged her musical niche by pulling classical vocal training, and the influential Jazz and R&B of her childhood together. She was raised listening to greats like Sade, Nat King Cole, and Peggy Lee. On her own, she discovered Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, and Ani DiFranco. Discovering her own style on guitar produced a nuanced, bass-driven playing style that now ranges from beautifully minimalist, to swampy, to jazzy and complex. She can create a whole atmosphere to live and listen within, with simply her gut string guitar and her voice.

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