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After the Lovin': Merrick dinner

Engelbert Humperdinck's album

Engelbert Humperdinck's album "Super Hits"

Here’s my problem with live music during dinner. It’s not that it puts the kibosh on conversation or makes it hard to hear the waiter. It’s that it makes me want to sing!

Last night at Nicholas James Bistro in Merrick, we were treated to the song stylings of Ken Sambolin, a lone guitarist with a big sound and the uncanny ability to sound like whosever song he was singing. He mimicked Glenn Frey when he sang “Tequila Sunrise,” he sounded like Neil Diamond when he sang “Hello Again,” like Smokey Robinson when he sang “Cruisin’,” like Paul Simon when he sang “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.”

And all I wanted to do was sing along—especially during “Stuck on You,” “Daniel” and “After the Lovin’.” Though I confess that I never manage to sound like Lionel Richie, Elton John or Englebert Humperdinck. (There’s a name I never thought I'd see on Feed Me.)

Nicholas James Bistro is at 2057 Merrick Rd., Merrick, 516-546-4805.

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