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Drama Queen: Nellie McKay

February 20th, 2014

Nellie McKay is a supreme stylist, with broad, substantial musical intelligence behind every single flourish. She combines heart-on-sleeve sincerity with supremely arch, dry wit; she’s utterly unique, her performance style multifarious and unpredictable, drawing ideas from extremely diverse eras and genres.

Her Cafe Carlyle debut, nuttily entitled “Nellie with a Z”, is as edgy as anything I’ve seen at that rarefied venue – she sings something about “motherfuckers” at one point – all the while displaying musical taste and restraint so impeccable you dare not take issue with her cabaret bona fides. It’s 100% a solo act, just Nellie in a sophisticated, spangled dress accompanying herself on piano, and exceptionally expressive, um, ukulele (I’d go so far as to call her a virtuoso of the uke).

Click here for full article.

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