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JPR Live Session: Nellie McKay

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The genre-bending singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist dropped by to share insights, talk about her career and play some songs from her latest release - Hey Guys Watch This - and a classic Country Joe and the Fish protest song re-purposed for 2024.

In addition to her award winning role in a Broadway production of Three Penny Opera, several albums of original work (the latest - the 2023 release Hey Guys, Watch This), a tribute to Doris Day and an album of '60s rock covers, My Weekly Reader, Nellie McKay has written and performed musical biographies of figures like Joan Rivers, Barbara Graham and Billy Tipton. The New York Times called the latter, "one of the best concerts of 2014."

She is a gifted pianist with a gorgeous voice who takes on big subjects with a sly wit. Her songs pull the listener in only to jolt them awake with big plot twists by the end.

In this JPR Live Session, Nellie McKay talks about her inspirations, her music and the causes she champions and sings a few songs accompanying herself on piano and ukulele.

  • Engineered by Jon Griffin of Luna Zen Studios
  • Photos by Noah Bran-Linsday
Dave Jackson curates the music on JPR's Rhythm and News Service, manages music staff and hosts Open Air, JPR's hand-picked house blend of music, JPR Live Sessions and Open Air Amplified. The exploration of music has been one of his lifelong passions.