Nikki Talley, July 2011

Nikki Talley in 2011.

Nikki Talley in 2011.

About the last person I expected to see strumming away outside Malaprop’s was Nikki Talley. Yet, there she was, playing a busted up guitar while leaning against the wrought-iron “Shopping Daze” sculpture. It had been years since I’d seen her, and given the hellish weekend ahead of me, she was a welcome sight. In just as few hours, the Bele Chere festival would be upon us, taking over the whole of downtown in a mass of vendor tents, outdoor stages, and drunk, sunburned tourists. Being a journalist in Asheville meant I was covering Bele Chere, and I’d barely have time to sleep until it over. Continue reading