In a special Independence Day edition of Gramercy’s Songwriter Spotlight, acclaimed Columbus-based songwriters Sally Fingerett, Eric Gnezda, and Parker MacDonell will play songs from the soon-to-be released book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Jon Meacham and country music legend Tim McGraw, Songs of America, a celebration of American history through the music that united and shaped this nation. Expect to hear such songs as “My Country ’Tis of Thee,” "The Liberty Song," “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “God Bless America,” “Over There,” “We Shall Overcome,” "Galveston," “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Born in the U.S.A,” "Not Ready to Make Nice," plus original work from our performers that reflect the spirit of our country.
Through all the years of strife and triumph, America has been shaped not just by our elected leaders and our formal politics but also by our music—the lyrics, performers, and instrumentals that have helped to carry us through the dark days and to celebrate the bright ones. Beginning with the battle hymns of the revolution and taking us through songs from the defining events of the Civil War, the fight for women’s suffrage, the two world wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and into the twenty-first century, Songs of Ameica: Patriotism, Protest, and The Music That Made a Nation explores the songs that defined generations, and the cultural and political climates that produced them.
Playing piano, guitar, and bass, Sally Fingerett is one of the founding “Mothers” of The Four Bitchin’ Babes, an all-female original musical-comedy-theatre troupe. With nine Babe-cast recordings spanning 30 years of touring Performing Arts Centers across the US and Canada, Sally has also recorded five solo CD projects that include duets with pals Janis Ian and Jonathan Edwards, as well as co-writes with Tom Paxton.Her song of compassion and equal rights, “Home Is Where The Heart Is,” has been recorded by Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, and folk legends Peter, Paul, and Mary for their CD and PBS special “Lifelines” and is performed by countless gay and lesbian choirs nationwide. Sally’s compositions can be found in “Contemporary Cabaret,” a song book celebrating such composers as Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, and Andrew Lloyd Weber.
Singer-Songwriter Eric Gnezda is creator and host of the American Public Television series, Songs at the Center, airing on more than 300 stations coast to coast. A regular performer at Nashville’s Bluebird Café, Eric is a recipient of the Ohioana Citation for Music Composition, joining Michael Feinstein (American Songbook), Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane), and Chip Davis (Mannheim Steamroller). An Emmy-nominated TV journalist, Eric has seen success with a wide range of songwriting styles – from inspirational anthems to country to comedy. Eric and his work have been featured on media around the globe, including ESPN, Entertainment Tonight, and NPR (Car Talk and All Things Considered).His latest single, “Separation,” was named one of the Top 25 Songs of 2018 by Detroit Radio’s Phil Maq of WFHR-FM.
Parker MacDonell has been using his original songs, voice and acoustic guitar to communicate with audiences even before he graduated with a degree in music from Dartmouth College. A veteran of the Los Angeles club scene and college student unions across the United States, Parker was named “Best New Artist of the Year” in 1983 by the listeners of Pete Fornatale’s Mixed Bag show on New York City radio station WNEW. He played bass for Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. Parker has released four recordings: Miracle on Broad Street with Matt Munhall (2017), The Present Tense (2012), Looking For You (1985) and Home to the Heart (1983). He performs regularly in the Columbus area with Doug Morgan (vocals and acoustic guitar) and Phil Maneri (vocals and bass) as an acoustic trio. When he’s not writing or performing, he helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into great companies as managing director of the Ohio TechAngel Funds at Rev1 Ventures.
This is a free event with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that Gramercy Books will be closed to the public at 5:30 pm that day. Doors open for seating at 6:30 pm and snacks, food, and drink will be available at Kittie's.