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Nellie McKay, "Ry Cooder of the Ukulele"?

Singer/songwriter Nellie McKay has made a name for herself setting witty, politically savvy lyrics, tongue firmly in cheek, to catchy music reminiscent of Brill Building tunesmiths. (Evidence of this can be found on Audra McDonald's 2006 album Build a Bridge, on which she sings McKay's "I Wanna Get Married." Sample lyric: "I need to cook meals / I wanna pack you cute little lunches / For my Brady bunches / Then read Danielle Steele.")

CooderNellie seems to be sticking to her guns on her new record, Obligatory Villagers. She tells HARP magazine in the latest issue that she modeled the new album after "proletarian anthems and the fact that I was hoping to become the Ry Cooder of the ukulele."

To read the full interview, visit