The atmosphere at Madison Square Park was casual as families and friends gathered on the grass to listen to the soothing sounds of Nellie McKay’s voice Wednesday, July 11th. The performer’s musical style fell somewhere between that of Regina Spektor and Norah Jones, with a voice like Sara Barielles. Belting out jazzy and bluesy tunes such as “The Dog Song,” McKay was captivating. Despite the outdoor setting, her performances could have suited a smoky bar in the jazz age or an island resort, depending on the act.
A former stand-up comedienne, McKay’s sense of humor was clear in her manner on stage. She commented that she was using her “Tom Waits” voice as she mimicked his gravelly tones. Her wit and playfulness allowed the audience to relax and enjoy her performance that much more. Her bassist played a particularly nice solo during one of her acts. Overall, the performance was a solid A.
McKay was just one performer in a free concert series held at Madison Square park. Other performers include Bettye LaVette and Jeff “Tain” Watts. Mad. Sq. Music been running since 2009 and brings music to the masses. The entertainment truly is for everyone, with audience members of young children and senior citizens.