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Nellie McKay


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

A mix of many genres including jazz, rap, eclectic-sourced altpop

Status:

Most recent release, My Weekly Reader (2015)

See also:

Nellie McKay's site

Wikipedia's entry on Nellie McKay

Comparisons:

Regina Spektor and Amanda Palmer based on humor, style and vocals. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

Covers/own material:

Mostly own

General comments:

I've decided that alongside Regina Spektor and Joanna Newsom, Nellie is part of a new triumvirate of first-class young female eccentrics... The love them or hate them types that are special enough to completely polarize listeners. Like Tori, Ani and Björk in the 90's. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)

Recommended first album:

Pretty Little Head. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

Recordings:


Get Away from Me

Release info:

2004—Columbia—C2K 90940

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Nellie McKay—all vocals, piano, organ, recorder, vibes, chimes, glockenspiel, xylophone, synthesizer, additional percussion, arrangements

Guest artists:

Jade Synstelien—guitar, jun jun
Corin Stiggall-electric bass
Ari Roland—upright bass
Billy Kaye—drums
Belinda Whitney—concertmaster
Cenovia Cummins—violin, fiddle solo
Patricia Davis, Joyce Hammann, Carol Pool, Rob Shaw, Andy Stein—violins
Richard Locker—cello
Emily Mitchell—harp
Norman Panto—accordion
Charles Pillow—flute, alto sax
Andy Snitzer—clarinet, tenor sax
Jim Hynes—trumpet, flugelhorn solo
Birch Johnson—trombone
Jay Berliner—Spanish guitar
Paul Holderbaum—orchestrations

Produced by:

Geoff Emerick

Comments:

witty, literate and frighteningly mature. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

The sticker on the cover called her a "cross between Doris Day and Eminem," and surprisingly it really fits! One of the freshest sounding albums in years. (jjhanson@att.net)

One of the best albums of the year. (Southpaw@southpaw32.com)


Pretty Little Head

Release info:

2006

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

My #1 favorite album of the year. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

One of the best albums of the year. (gordodo@optonline.net)


Obligatory Villagers

Release info:

2007

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

This is her best yet. She finally has the organic, full-band accompaniment that her keen musical sense and classic melodies deserve. Without this musicality, her pomo humor and rapid-fire lyrics would only get her so far, but in combination, they add up to something truly singular. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)

One of the best albums of the year. (lasherboy@gmail.com)


Normal as Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day

Release info:

2009—Verve—B0013218-02

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Medium

Group members:

Nellie McKay—vocals; piano (1,2, 6, 7); organ (1, 6); ukulele (4, 11); synthesizer (7, 13); mellotron (11, 13); bells (1, 11); tympani (8, 13); tambora (1); arrangements and orchestrations (1, 2, 4-8, 11, 13)

Guest artists:

Bob Dorough—piano (3, 12); arrangements and orchestrations (9, 12)
Jay Berliner—guitar (5, 6, 8, 10)
Jay Anderson—bass (3, 8, 10, 12)
Clarence Penn—drums (3, 8, 9, 10, 12)
Charles Pillow—tenor saxophone (3, 7, 8, 10); oboe (7)
Glenn Drews—trumpet (2, 10)
John Allred—trombone (2, 4, 10)
Lawrence Feldman—clarinet (2, 10); flute (4, 10)
David Weiss—flute (9)
Sharon Moe—French horn (11)
Cenovia Cummins—violin (6, 8)
Paolo Perrre, Kevin Rennard, Lucas Steele—vocals (10)
Paul Holderbaum—arrangements and orchestrations (3, 10)

Produced by:

Nellie McKay and Robin Pappas

Comments:

yaaawn! — a real shame, since I adore Nellie! (lasherboy@gmail.com)

Home Sweet Mobile Home

Release info:

2010

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Medium

Comments:

Wanted to like it, but didn't. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

Further info:

Compilation work includes:

  • the Rumor Has It soundtrack (2005)
  • "If I Needed Someone"* on This Bird Has Flown: A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles' Rubber Soul (2005)
  • "Won't U Please B Nice" on the Monster-in-Law soundtrack (2005)
  • "David" on the Weeds soundtrack (2006)
  • "The Dog Song" on Too Cool for School: Mixtape for Kids (2006)
  • "P.S. I Love You"* on the P.S. I Love You soundtrack (2007)
  • "Toto Dies"* on Live From the Artists Den: Season One (2008)
  • "How Are You?"* on David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's album Here Lies Love (2010)
  • "Late Again"* on Dear New Orleans (2010)
  • a cover of Steel Train's "Touch Me Bad"* on Terrible Thrills, Volume 1 (2010)
  • "Wild Romantic Blues"* on the Boardwalk Empire, Volume 1 soundtrack (2011)
  • "Old Folks"* on Note of Hope: A Celebration of Woody Guthrie (2011)
*Track not available elsewhere

Collaborations include:

  • "Better Days" with Timothy Dark on his EP Darkness Breaking (2006)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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