The Merl Festival

Imagine vintage western suits and ties, cowboy hats and boots right here in NYC. Better still, local talent singing the tunes of Merle Haggard. Yes, all of this happened on a cold February evening in the fur district. I ventured alone to find the Chelsea Mountain Boys, met a Nashville back-up singer and said hello to my favorite country singers like Thirsty Dave, Neil Cleary, and Lil' Mo. Friends who arrived after me left at intermission to see "In the Bedroom" and missed the surprise of the night----a Cajun accordionist named Nick. I spoke to Nick afterwards----expressing "wow the band needed and accordion" and told him I am a native of New Orleans (1/2 cajun,1/2 Sicilian). He then invited me to his Mardi Gras party in Brooklyn where his pick up band played for two hours straight. I brought a Louisiana king cake and had a wonderful time.

Cristina Spelligene