Nellie McKay Prepping Sophomore Album

Singer/songwriter Nellie McKay is making progress on her as-yet-untitled sophomore album for Columbia. The artist tells Billboard.com she is eyeing a September release for the set, which will feature

Singer/songwriter Nellie McKay is making progress on her as-yet-untitled sophomore album for Columbia. The artist tells Billboard.com she is eyeing a September release for the set, which will feature a duet with Cyndi Lauper on a track titled "Bee Charmer."

The new album will be the follow-up to McKay's 2004 double-disc debut, "Get Away From Me," which peaked at No. 7 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and has sold 100,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

A DualDisc version of "Get Away From Me" was released last month, the DVD side of which features eight songs taped in November 2004 in San Francisco, plus the previously unreleased audio tracks "Teresa" and "John-John."

McKay says she may play some shows this summer, but at deadline, there are only two performance on her schedule: tonight (April 29) in New Orleans and a May 23 benefit at New York's Irving Plaza with Lauper and Natalie Merchant. "I don't want to promote the record before it's ready," the artist says.

Proceeds from the New York show will be donated to the family of former Elektra Records employee Theresa Wilson, who died March 20. The event will also feature performances by Chris Whitley, Steve Forbert, Dan Baird and Sandra Bernhard

In the meantime, McKay has just sealed up her debut film role in "Safety Glass," which will also star Mandy Moore, Amanda Peet and Michelle Williams. "I play a girl named Sue, who has a bit of a 'Children of the Corn' thing going on," she reveals.