Travel and Dining

KJ Farrell's Brings Nashville to Long Island

(L to R) Steve Farella and Pete Colombo of 42nd & Nelson, Christine Holt, and Jem Warren. (Photo: Teri Schure)

On a typical night at the Bluebird Cafe, three or four songwriters join each other on stage, taking turns playing their songs and accompanying each other instrumentally and with harmony vocals. KJ Farrell's in Bellmore, New York isn't the Bluebird, but the talent is exceptional and the music well worth a visit. A mere 50 minutes by train from the buzzing Pennsylvania Station in New York City, one can jump off at the Bellmore Long Island stop and walk directly across the street for some incredible country music and good eats.

On the third Tuesday of every month, the country music duo 42nd & Nelson hosts a Bluebird-style showcase for local songwriters called "Songwriters in the Round" at KJ Farrell's. This down-home venue is unassuming in appearance (just like the Bluebird), but provides an intimate look at some of the best singer/songwriters in the New York metropolitan area.

On May 19, 42nd & Nelson hosted and performed along with featured singer/songwriters Christine Holt and Jem Warren. Christine Holt's angelic voice and acoustic guitar reminded me of a young Joni Mitchell. Her song "You Can't Always Follow Your Heart" was a quirky combination of rap and folk. Jem Warren was poetic and soulful. I downloaded his song "Hey There Monkey" the next day.

The 42nd & Nelson duo of Steve Farella and Pete Colombo have been writing together and pitching their songs in Nashville since 1999. "We're Gonna Be Alright" is a great example of their talent.

I went there for the country music, but the cheeseburger, chicken Caesar salad wrap and sweet potato fries will keep me coming back as well. Songwriters in the Round at KJ Farrell's is definitely worth checking out.

Ms. Teri Schure is the founder of, lectures on issues pertaining to publishing, and is a consultant in the magazine, web development and marketing industries. Check out her blog, The Teri Tome.