Nellie McKay, Mia Doi Todd On Mountain Stage McKay, the New York singer and songwriter, performs a mordantly witty set accompanied by piano, ukulele and both the Mountain Stage band and running crew. The multifaceted artist Mia Doi Todd also makes a last-minute appearance.

Nellie McKay, Mia Doi Todd On Mountain Stage

Nellie McKay in Concert on Mountain Stage - 01/27/2009

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Brian Blauser

Set List

Nellie McKay:

  • "Real Life"
  • "Long and Lazy River"
  • "Mother of Pearl"
  • "Testify"
  • "Buttons & Bows"
  • "Zombie"

Mia Doi Todd:

  • "River of Life"
  • "Esperar Es Caro"

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Brian Blauser

New York-based singer, songwriter, arranger, composer, pianist and actor Nellie McKay makes her third appearance on Mountain Stage in this segment, recorded in March 2008, accompanied by the Mountain Stage band. McKay plays the piano and writes songs filled with wit, sarcasm and irony. Check out McKay's piano fills on "Testify" for a testament to her chops just before a well-executed live fade-out, a rarity when it comes to live music.

Unbound by genres, McKay's sound transcends any one category, as she seems to reinvent herself with each release. Her debut album was a mash-up of jazz and pop, with some blue-eyed hip-hop thrown in. For her latest, Obligatory Villagers, she recruited some outstanding jazz players (Phil Woods, David Liebman and Bob Dorough among them) and recorded in the Poconos. She's even won a Theater World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera.

The irony seeps out while accompanying herself on ukulele in "Mother of Pearl," and a group of Mountain Stage crew members play the undead chorus during "Zombie."

Mia Doi Todd follows McKay with an acoustic set of her own songs. Also a multifaceted artist, Todd expresses herself in multiple media, including as a dancer, painter and poet. Her seventh CD, Gea, came out last year. Fueled by her soft-spoken vocals and finger-style guitar, Todd's globally conscious songs conjure images of nature. At this show, she makes reference to traveling by bus (with Jose Gonzalez) because Julia Douglass — heard later this week — had flown to the show and her luggage, containing her makeup, didn't make it to Morgantown on time.