(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Cabaret-rock singer-songwriter Nellie McKay brings her uniquely eccentric blend of pop, rock, jazz and hip-hop to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, January 22, at 8pm. This time out, McKay will be featuring songs from her musical biography, “A Girl Named Bill: The Life and Times of Billy Tipton,” a mid-20th century jazz musician and bandleader who lived his adult life as a man, although he was assigned female at birth. “A Girl Named Bill” was named one of the Best Concerts of 2014 by the New York Times.
The multi-talented Nellie McKay made her smash debut a decade ago with her groundbreaking double-CD, “Get Away from Me,” showcasing her eclectic musical reach and her dazzling lyrical wit (which extended to the album’s title, a subtle play on the breakthrough album by a somewhat similarly inclined pop-folk jazz singer named Norah Jones).
McKay has released six full-length albums, including “Normal as Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day” and “My Weekly Reader,” featuring music of the 1960s, produced by Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick.
McKay co-created and starred in the award-winning off-Broadway hit “Old Hats” and has written three acclaimed musical biographies – “A Girl Named Bill”; “I Want to Live!,” the story of Barbara Graham, the third woman executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin; and “Silent Spring: It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature,” an exploration in song of environmental pioneer Rachel Carson.
Nellie McKay has won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of “The Threepenny Opera” and performed onscreen in the films “PS I Love You” and “Downtown Express,” as well as writing original music for the Rob Reiner film “Rumor Has It” and contributing to the Emmy-winning documentary, “Gasland.”
McKay’s music has been heard on the TV shows Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Weeds, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS and Nurse Jackie, and she has appeared on numerous TV shows including The Late Show with David Letterman (with the Brooklyn Philharmonic). In 2010, the Chase Brock Experience produced a ballet of Obligatory Villagers, and McKay contributed the foreword to the 20th anniversary edition of “The Sexual Politics of Meat,” by Carol J. Adams. Her writing has also appeared in The Onion, Interview and the New York Times Book Review.
A recipient of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Humanitarian Award in recognition of her dedication to animal rights, McKay is a vocal advocate for feminism, civil rights and other deeply felt progressive ideals. She is currently part of the campaign to get horse-drawn carriages off the streets of New York City.
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.