Conjuring the image of a lonely all night truck stop along Highway 1 on the California coast, all but lost in the fog that comes creeping along the shoreline, this album speaks of the night, the outsider, the plaintive wail of those lost at sea. Sister Orchid was conceived in solitude, executed in darkness. It comes from a place of quiet, a world of low lights and cool drinks, up against a hard wall.
Nellie McKay co-created and starred in the award-winning off-Broadway hit Old Hats and has written three acclaimed musical biographies – I Want to Live!, the story of Barbara Graham, third woman executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin, Silent Spring: It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature, an exploration of environmental pioneer Rachel Carson, and A GIRL NAMED BILL – The Life and Times of Billy Tipton, named one of the Best Concerts of 2014 by The New York Times. Her latest lady bio is The Big Molinsky – Considering Joan Rivers (“unpredictable, thrilling…sardonic wit..” – The New York Times).
Nellie’s music has been heard on Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Weeds, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Nurse Jackie, and SMILF, and she has appeared on TV shows including The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, Ferguson, and The View. Nellie has made numerous radio appearances on NPR’s Mountain Stage, A Prairie Home Companion, eTown, and Marion McPartland’s Piano Jazz. The Chase Brock Experience produced a ballet of her third album, Obligatory Villagers, and she contributed the forward to the 20th anniversary edition of The Sexual Politics of Meat. Her writing has also appeared in The Onion, Interview and The New York Times Book Review.
“Thanks to (McKay), the Great American Songbook has a living, breathing present as well as a glorious past” – Boston Globe
“McKay comes on as a Harlem Holly Golightly, a social activist with a disarming mastery of pop vernacular.” – Los Angeles Times
“…a sly, articulate musician who sounds comfortable in any era” – The New York Times