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Nellie McKay: Tiny Desk Concert

You wouldn't think to call someone audacious who once devoted an entire album to Doris Day songs, but Nellie McKay is. McKay's first album for a major label, Get Away From Me, was a double-CD set unlike any other record I can think of, and her bold personality shines through in every project she's tackled since.

You may have seen McKay at NPR before: She took on the crazy task of writing and recording a song in just a few days while the cameras rolled as part of our Project Song series. The song she wrote unfolded in typical Nellie McKay fashion: She wrote the song pretty much backwards, holding the melody and words to the very end.

Despite the seemingly reckless chaos that surrounds McKay, there's also purpose and determination, and you can see that in this Tiny Desk Concert. The whimsical, charming songs she plays here are from her recent record, Home Sweet Mobile Home. There's no one quite like her, as you'll soon see.

Set List

  • "Caribbean Time"
  • "The Portal"
  • "Beneath The Underdog"


Michael Katzif and Bob Boilen (cameras); edited by Bob Boilen; photo by Abby Verbosky

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bob Boilen
In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.