With a sweetly idiosyncratic blend of confidence and self-deprecation, Nellie McKay is one of the most brilliant songwriters working today. McCay crafts songs that set “tart, incisive lyrics to engaging, instantly accessible melodies. Seductive on the surface, provocative in their ideas, [her] songs are sensual provocations to think.” - Delta Sky
According to Ben Ratliff of the New York Times, her last CD “ranks among the killer overhauls of American standards, with sharply original arrangements mostly by the singer-pianist-ukulelist herself.”
And the praise hardly ends there.
You should know that Nellie McKay is hard to categorize. She’s done Brecht on Broadway, opened for Lou Reed at Carnegie Hall, sung Woody Allen movie songs at the Hollywood Bowl, performed on A Prairie Home Companion, duetted with Eartha Kitt and Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, played Hilary Swank’s sister on the big screen, paid tribute to Doris Day, and released three wildly acclaimed albums of original music.
Her music is as tuneful and clever as the best of the Great American Songbook—part cabaret, part sparkly pop. But beneath the charming melodic surface is a wit that cuts, and a sharply tuned social conscience. And she is a pure pleasure to see and hear in person.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“She is the rare young female singer completely at home (and on pitch) when singing in a classic pop style. At the same time, many pop-jazz idioms between the 1950s and today are echoed in her voice and lend her phrasing a freewheeling ease and flexibility and a sense that she can go anywhere at any moment.” -Stephen Holden, New York Times
“Quirky and unpredictable barely begins to describe this young pianist/singer’s oeuvre.” - City Pages
“lovably idiosyncratic cabaret savant Nellie McKay is all over the musical map. One of America’s great eccentric musical treasures delivers it all with uncanny sass, diverse musicality and a big wink.” - Jon Bream wrote in the Star Tribune