Elizabeth McQueen
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Elizabeth McQueen

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States
Band Jazz R&B


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"The Laziest Girl in Town"

Austin’s former great jazz hope Kat Edmonson - since migrated for the more ambitious pastures of New York City - makes a typically understated guest appearance on “You’re To Blame,” the bustling Bossa nova charmer that opens Elizabeth McQueen’s third solo record. Edmonson might as well softly croon “I’m passing the torch,” because “The Laziest Girl In Town” is the best vocal jazz record to come out of Austin since her “Take to the Sky.” McQueen’s sweet southern twang - she also sings and plays guitar for Asleep at the Wheel - still drips off every word, but she’s turned her talents from traditional roots rock to 10 tracks of sometimes-smoky, sometimes-sugary jazz. Her original compositions - particularly “Mind of Men,” a brilliantly scalding, tongue-in-cheek, wholly accurate dissection of the male mind - hit that perfect Elephant Room-evoking sweet spot. Asleep at the Wheel’s Jonathan Doyle chips in pristine saxophone, with Floyd Domino - and let us all reflect on how perfect a piano player name “Floyd Domino” is - holding down the keys. But McQueen is really at her best on the covers: the resigned sigh of the Cole Porter-penned title track and a perfectly bittersweet version of the Magnetic Fields’ “You’re My Only Home,” a bone-deep cut off “69 Love Songs.” - Austin 360

"The Laziest Girl in Town"

ELIZABETH MCQUEEN certainly isn’t afraid to try new things. When her first post-college jobs didn’t pan out, she opted to give music a try. With little experience leading a band, she moved from Maryland to Austin and assembled a group to showcase her brash, exuberant pub rock. Like her hero Elvis Costello, McQueen brandished her attitude and spectacles proudly. Yet after two albums, she took another left turn, accepting a gig singing with western-swing superstars Asleep at the Wheel. She settled in with ease among Texas music royalty and even toured with Willie Nelson, an experience she dubbed “singer school.” After the experience of taking her infant daughter on the road convinced her that she could pretty much do anything, she put together the surprising THE LAZIEST GIRL IN TOWN (Freedom), a sophisticated session of swing and bossa nova, in the mode of Ella Fitzgerald or Peggy Lee. McQueen’s tenure with the Wheel and Willie has clearly paid off. On her rock albums, McQueen was a solid if not particularly expressive singer; here, she’s lying back, bending pitches, and gliding through challenging material with impressive ease, inhabiting tunes by Cole Porter, Dan Hicks, and Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, as well as effervescent originals like “Mind of Men” and “You’re to Blame.” The corny, fifties-era production might alienate some, but McQueen’s music has always been about fun. And on beautifully arranged ballads like “Anyone But You,” her singing graduates to the sublime. - Texas Monthly

"The Laziest Girl in Town?"

On an unseasonably warm January afternoon, Elizabeth McQueen lounges on the curved tangerine sofa in her East Austin home, glasses whimsically askew atop her sculpted nose. With a wave of the hand, she revisits the epiphany that brought her to Austin from Maryland in 2001.
"Commuting. Sitting in traffic, gridlock, I thought: 'I'm not doing it. I'm not raising a family here or going to be part of this East Coast thing.' That's when I decided to move to Austin. I'd never been to Austin. I just knew the thing I really wanted to do was play music."
Common revelation that, oft-told and rarely with a twist, except maybe this one: McQueen was departing from her home in Columbia, Md., where, in 1970, a newly minted country band called Asleep at the Wheel coincidentally played its very first gig.
If few bands were playing Western swing that year, fewer still played it on the East Coast, and in 1973, bandleader Ray Benson moved the group to Austin, the cosmic cowboy capital. In the 40 years since, Asleep at the Wheel has amassed Grammys (nine) while circling the globe as freewheeling ambassadors of good-time Texas swing, a job that's called musicians left and right into the spotlight. A few were Texas-born; most, like Benson himself, moved here with purpose.
"For some reason," echoes McQueen, approximately the 83rd member of Asleep at the Wheel, "Austin was the only place I wanted to go."
Texas Mojo
"I feel like a Texan. My dad actually grew up in the Valley – Mercedes, Texas. When he was 14, he moved to Little Rock, but he always felt like a Texan. I think I inherited that feeling. I never felt totally at home until I moved to Austin."
Texas mojo lured Elizabeth McQueen back south naturally. Born in 1977 in Little Rock, Ark., she was only a few years younger than her father had been at the time of his uprooting when the architect relocated the family to Columbia, Md., a near-utopian sort of community. A self-proclaimed geek in high school, she took classical singing lessons and performed in bands with names like "William James Said."
"But I was just the singer. I didn't even know how to set up a mic. I didn't play an instrument. I'd never considered music a viable career choice. I come from a family of visual artists. The idea of making a living doing something so fun didn't seem possible."
At the University of Maryland, McQueen got two degrees, one in English, the other in anthropology. Life's path led to social work, a noble effort she burned out on after a year, but through which she recognized her desire to move to Austin.
Once settled here, she formed and bestowed on her new band a name that sizzled with her own vision of 1980s-informed, rootsy rock. Between 2003's The Fresh Up Club and Happy Doing What We're Doing two years later, Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands left their mark on the local scene. "The many men and women who've been Firebrands" include lead twanger Andrew Nafziger, bassist Lindsay Greene, and guitarist Lauren Gurgiolo, now of Okkervil River.
One bandmate stood out: Wheel drummer David Sanger, a bear of a man currently rattling around in the kitchen as the couple's 2-year-old daughter Lisel wakes from a nap.
"I met Dave because I wanted him to produce a record of mine," says McQueen, coyly toying with the heavy chestnut braid resting on her shoulder. "We started hanging out and much to my dismay, he asked me on a date.
"I was like: 'Come on! We're 16 years apart! You seriously think I will go out with you?'"
"I told her I was good at making babies!" calls Sanger from the kitchen, shuffling behind Lisel into the living room.
McQueen giggles.
"I wanted an old-school country feel to my record," she says. "When I first started talking to him about it, he showed up at my door with a huge stack of records he'd produced, so I listened to them all."
So, Mr. Sanger ... was that to demonstrate the work you'd done, or to impress her?
"Yes," Sanger grins affably.
McQueen and Sanger began dating in 2001 and married in 2004, a heady romance fueled by tours, gigs, recordings, and joint projects, including the singer's jazzy 2010 gem, The Laziest Girl in Town (see "Texas Platters," Nov. 26, 2010).
"Elizabeth really produced that record," insists Sanger. "After telling me to back off about 10 times, I did."
"We've made good records together, and we are still together!" McQueen volleys back.
Sanger chuckles and looks down to the pixie-faced Lisel, now brandishing a black umbrella.
"Come along," he says, folding his bear paw around his daughter's elfin hand and leading her to the front door. "Let's go look for rain."
Spinal Tap?
David Sanger, raised in Southern California, moved to Austin in 1984. He gigged with W.C. Clark, Elouise Burrell & Trickle Down, and others before signing up with Asleep at the Wheel later that decade. Although he took a sabbatical from the kings of Texas swing in the 1990s, he rolled again as a spoke in the Wheel when he and McQueen married in 2004. At Ray Benson's birthday show the following year, Sanger's wife summoned the courage to sing two Wheel songs.
"So, when ya gonna get on the bus with us?" drawls McQueen, imitating the band's 6-foot-7-inch figurehead. "I laughed because I didn't know what to think. He's my husband's boss – really big and kinda intimidating."
McQueen's career stood at the proverbial crossroads in 2005. Five years of steady gigging and good notices with the Firebrands meant upping the tour ante and aiming for a higher national profile. One night, her husband called from the road, mentioning that a band member was leaving and her name was up for consideration as replacement.
McQueen pauses for effect, breath held for a count, then pumps her fists into the air.

"The fact that Ray hired the wife of one of his longtime band members is an amazing thing," continues the singer.
"I was presented with the opportunity to play in this awesome band, travel with my husband, and learn this amazing music. Luckily, musical personalities worked, and it was an easy transition for me into the band.
"My hat's off to Ray for taking that risk. It could have been Spinal Tap."
"Even though I didn't step into an immediate slot, when I started listening to the older stuff, I knew I had serious shoes to fill. I couldn't just get up and do what I was doing. I had to learn some chops, because the history of women in Asleep at the Wheel is heavy."
That unexpected weight swung into McQueen's capable hands when she got on the bus in 2005. The Wheel hadn't featured a female vocalist since Chris O'Connell left the second time in 1990, and its short list of female singers and players includes Maryann Price and Cindy Cashdollar. The challenge of taking her girl-next-door style – strong, soaring, big-band vocals that suit jazz as well as country – into a legendary band as at home at the Kennedy Center as the Broken Spoke appealed to McQueen's sense of adventure.
"At the 40th anniversary, I finally got to see Chris with the band. There's a lot of lore about Chris, and to see her sing live was amazing! I've known Maryann for a long time, what an incredible singer, too!" enthuses McQueen.
"When I joined Asleep at the Wheel and heard Maryann and Chris, I thought: 'I better learn to sing. Really sing.' I started listening to Betty Carter and Nina Simone the way [Bob Wills' Texas] Playboys showed the Wheel guys how to play.
"I hope there's a generation coming up now who'll be going to Ray, 'Hey, can you show me that lick?'"
Sittin' on Top of the World
"Ray Benson," begins McQueen, words tough, "is the Man.
"He does more work than anyone else in the band. As a bandleader coming into another band, I'd never seen anyone work as hard as Ray. That was an eye-opener. He's the boss, the rest of us are employees, but we're not peons. It's a familial and ever-changing dynamic. Even though the Wheel is primarily based around the idea of being a Western swing band, it means you have heavy blues and heavy jazz influence. They are jazzers. Ray wants people to play different solos every night. That's the basis of jazz.
"I probably never sang the same song the same way twice. Ray never came to me and said, 'Just sing it like Chris.' If you go really far off the rails, he might take you aside and say, 'Tone it down.' That's his way. He took me aside once and said, 'You sing with a lot of vibrato, and you need to straighten it out.'
"I was like: 'Whatever! I don't sing with a lot of vibrato!'
"But it was easy for me to sing with a lot of vibrato. So I listened to other singers like Ella Fitzgerald and thought about how you make a tone more even.
"When we went out on the Willie & the Wheel tour with Willie [Nelson], that was the thrill of the lifetime, because I got to sing with Willie. Every night. 'Sittin' on Top of the World.' He was so nice. He'd always say, 'And now here's my favorite part of the show.' That's another, 'Thank you, Ray Benson,' because it was Ray's idea to do that song as a duet. When we started, I thought, 'Great, I'll be doing background vocals!'
"But he said, 'We're doing a duet, and you're gonna sing with Willie.'
"I had no concept of what it was like to sing with Willie until we did it live. Amazing. Words fail me. He's such a present guy as a performer. When you sing a duet with him, he looks into your eyes the entire time. And he's Willie Nelson, so he changes things every night. So I'd change things, and we'd play off each other. It was like, 'Wow.'
"Just to watch Willie sing and engage the audience is something, because people lose their shit when Willie walks onstage. Unbelievable. And it's because he's open, full of love, that he makes you feel open and full of love. He is everyman. He really is. It was like going to school every night – someone I could watch and learn to be in my own life. It's not just showbiz hocus-pocus where he walks offstage and it's like, 'Nah, kid.'
"He's the real deal."
Pilot Fish
Elizabeth McQueen's hand rests on her softly curved belly. She is content in repose. For the moment, the house is quiet, the voices outside muffled. It won't be that way long.
The second McQueen-Sanger production is slated for arrival April 28, and she plans to stop performing at the end of March. In July, she'll resume local appearances and expand Wheel shows from there. Certainly, she will post, as she frequently does on her Miles & Miles of Diapers blog. At 33, the determination in her voice suggests she may start another album before the baby's born.
The Laziest Girl in Town not only celebrated McQueen's first decade in Austin with a sultry, jazzy style, a departure from the Firebrands' leathery roots and rock, it was also the first under her name alone. The Fresh Up Club and Happy Doing What We're Doing were both credited to Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands, symbolic of the fierce loyalty she feels to the circles of friends and family that link her life on and off the road.
"You go through this intense period of living with people who are friends but not family, then you go home and live with family until you go back to work.
"Now, we're like satellites, pilot fish. Here's the huge bus going down the road and our little van, the baby bus, next to them (but mostly, in front of them). We only see them at gigs or checking into the hotel. We don't spend a concentrated amount of time with them anymore.
"It almost makes playing more fun, because when I get there, all I have to do is play music. For 90 minutes, I don't have to parent or plan. Dave and I have this ongoing logistical conversation: How are we going to do this, personnelwise, kidwise? The evolution of having a kid on the road has made touring more fun. There's something very meaningful about traveling with your family."
Lisel's squeal of laughter from the yard punctuates McQueen's words.
"It's been great for both of us, co-parenting, so that neither parenting nor making money is a burden shouldered on one. We always thought it was badass to be a couple on the road, touring the country, playing, going to Europe. Now, we get to do it with our daughter.
"When I got pregnant with her, I thought: 'That's it! It's over, I'm done!' People would even say, 'Yeah, mmm-hmmm, slowing down ...,' and part of me believed it. And without the band's help, I might have left.
"But I could Wheel the rest of my life."
- Austi Chronicle

"The Laziest Girl in Town"

McQueen’s last ‘of?cial’ album, was a celebration of British Pub Rock, with only one original. This time, her album seems a celebration of female jazz singers, speci?cally female jazz singers working nightclubs with small combos, but while all ten tracks sound like covers, only three of them really are. They are the title track, by Cole Porter, taken from Nina Simone’s 1959 version, Dan Hicks’ Lonely Madman, from the 1973 Hot Licks lineup that included Maryann Price, and The Magnetic Fields’ You’re My Only Home, arranged in the style of the immortal Julie London. Of the classically styled originals, two are by McQueen’s husband, Dave Sanger, the rest she wrote herself. With McQueen in marvellous voice, she owes a huge debt to the subtle playing of pianist Floyd Domino and Jonathan Doyle (Mighty Blue Kings/ White Ghost Shivers) on saxophone and clarinet, who imbue the album with a blue haze of cigarette smoke and the tang of cheap bourbon, which I hope was the effect she was trying to evoke. The only way this could sound even more authentic would be if McQueen nodded out during live shows. - 3rd Coast Music

"Going Down to the Pub"

From the "Only in Austin" files: Popular local country crooner Elizabeth McQueen and her Firebrands are preparing a covers CD of pub-rock, the obscure British genre that gave the world Brinsley Schwarz, Eggs Over Easy, Ducks Deluxe, and the slightly better-known Graham Parker, Squeeze, Rockpile, and, arguably, Elvis Costello. McQueen originally moved to town wanting to do straight country, acquitting herself quite well on last year's The Fresh Up Club, but changed her tune upon hearing the Conrads, who along with predecessors Banana Blender Surprise give pub-rock a Texas twang. (Conrads bassist Earl B. Freedom's Freedom Records will release McQueen's album this fall.) "I guess what we do is pub-rock – we play roots music live in bars," figures McQueen, who says she's been "too skittish" to ask Ian McLagan – who more or less invented pub-rock with the Small Faces – to sit in with the Firebrands. Then she divulges the real reason behind this one-woman revival: "It's just an excuse to do a lot of songs I love." - Austin Chronicle

"Licks by Chuck Eddy"

No confirmation that the two songs addressed to a former love interest no longer in the band concern Asleep at the Wheeler David Sanger, who produced the thing and who 26-year-old Arkansas transplant to Austin McQueen used to date, but either way, the time changes in "Heaven Sent" hook like something off of a 1979 Nick Lowe or Dave Edmunds LP. The loosely defined FireBrands even call their music "pub rock," which makes the extroverted voice up front either Carlene Carter or Rosanne Cash back when they had new-wave haircuts. "Freight Train" stands in for "My Baby Thinks He's a Train" off Seven Year Ache, then two tracks later comes a hazy driving metaphor written by Rosanne's ex-spouse. Not alt-country: Way too much blues and rhythm; no schoolmarm in the singing despite Lisa Loeb spectacles. And roller-rink sock-hop soul organ in the other-woman lament "I Know I Cross His Mind" (and "96 Tears" tinkles and "Rumble" twang and ripping Chuck Berry cover elsewhere) almost justifies the authenticity fetish.

-- Chuck Eddy - The Village Voice

"God Save McQueen"

Elizabeth McQueen is so damn charming that I checked my wallet and cancelled my credit cards after our interview had been completed. She has a devil-may-care, instantly befriending aura that makes emotional disarmament mandatory. Beautiful and intellectually forthright, she speaks with breezy analytical ease about her band, their creative philosophies, and the elbow grease it takes to make the leap from regional to national renown. If the Village Voice's recently fawning review is any indication, Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands could be set to bring their unboxed brew of back country blues to a watering hole near you.

Elizabeth McQueen's musical pedigree is old school… elementary old school if you count her 2nd grade pageant performance of "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth." By the time she graduated from high school she already had enough band notches for her very own VH-1 special, including a failed prog rock adventure called Iridescent Dream. Her description of the planned community where she grew up in Columbia, Maryland sounds like the sort of place full of people who pledge to support their local PBS affiliate (and actually follow through with the check). Built on a former commune, 90% of the residents had college degrees, while a significant majority had also gone on to graduate school. After kicking around the meager roots rock scene there ("I tried to get it started there.") McQueen made her way to the Americana Mecca of Austin, to connect with some like-minded musicians in love with that dusty voodoo crossroads where country and the blues split at the root.

Live, McQueen and her band (The Firebrands) can be likened to a raucous playpen bursting with stellar, adventurous musicianship. A coalition of artists who know their risk-taking shit, they keep audiences guessing amidst playful riffing dialogues, perhaps even reading haikus during song breaks. Not a gimmick, but rather the hallmark of seasoned performers who understand that you may as well acknowledge the people sitting two feet in front of your face, and cultivate a campfire intimacy with these fans. Part of McQueen's stage artfulness lies in her refusal to allow the band to fall into canned banter ruts, or the general tossed off malaise that can creep up on artists regularly gigging on their home turf. Every McQueen show feels freshly shaken from their collective muse.

Listening to Elizabeth McQueen sing is like hearing Etta James and Loretta Lynn spliced in honey. Songs like "You Shouldn't Have" have such a subtle, sultry undertow that one can't help but be drawn in - even though the song is essentially a bruising brush-off of a lowdown dirty man. McQueen doesn't just flex her voice; she inhabits the songs in the same way she meets you in person, kicking off her shoes, smirking sideways, and saying "there's no place like home." While listening to the Firebrands and Elizabeth take on Elvis Costello and NRBQ classics, it's difficult to believe that these covers aren't theirs to keep.

Her demeanor and career goals reflect the aims of an artist with little vanity and much reverence for her craft. "To me the songs that really count are those that speak to the human condition and have a lot of integrity between the words, the music, and the emotion that's being conveyed." She constantly praises her band and their working relationship. Not without reason, since The Firebrands display an A-game on the stage, able to experiment and improvise nimbly on the fly with an energy and passion that live up to the daunting task of keeping pace with their leader's impish spontaneity. McQueen doesn't see herself in the diva singer role, though she readily steps up to the task of being a front woman. She adds, "I have a very sideman-ish view of the world, a very workaday musician ethic. I just want to go and play and do a good job."

Lunch ends in a torrent of secret sharing, giving up dish on each other in a way normally reserved for people who've known each other for years. She shows off her engagement ring and talks about her upcoming wedding to David Sanger from the country legends Asleep At the Wheel. The gala will be held at the classic shitkicker Austin dive The Broken Spoke (where you can still get pitchers of Pearl beer for a dollar). In case you were wondering, she will be wearing designer rhinestones. Currently, the Firebrands and Elizabeth are holed up working mightily on a second LP of classic "pub rock" covers, a transitional effort, intimating the sound toward which the band has been steadily evolving. If you haven't caught the buzz surrounding Elizabeth McQueen, here's your chance to be on the inside track of a future big deal. With the skills, the grin and the incandescent personality, there's no speed limit on McQueen's highway to stardom, infamy or critically acclaimed integrity, whichever she happens to fancy first.
-- Terry Sawyer - Amplifier Magazine Online

"The Fresh Up Club Reviewed"

Austin transplant Elizabeth McQueen has garnered a lot of friends and fans in the three years since she relocated there from suburban Washington, D.C., and it’s easy to see what they like. Unassuming, self-assured, and a splendid interpreter, McQueen has a little of Kirsty MacColl’s vocal appeal, particularly in the galloping “I Know I Cross His Mind” (the Paul Carrack-ish organ by David Beebe completes the impression).

A honky-tonker at heart, McQueen ranges from the two-steppin’ (“Lyin”) to light blues (“Drive Alright”) to rockabilly (“Chuck Berry’s “Thirty Days”) to torch (her own “The Oldest Story”, which sounds vintage). The Firebrands bring their own inspiration, keeping things moving at a brisk pace with unexpected fills and fillips around each corner. Check out the ringing guitar lines on “What am I Worth?” and the jam at the end of "Thirty Days."

The disc is dotted with stellar instrumentation. Guitarists Andrew Nafziger and Chris Miller are supplemented by Leroi Brother Casper Rawls on the kickin’ opener “I Don’t Want to Stop,” Jim Murphy provides lap bass; and Asleep at the Wheel’s John Michael Whitby donates some killer keyboards. Bassist Lindsay Greene and drummer Brian Smith provide rhythmic backdrop. Dave Sanger, who also produced, can’t help but sit in on half the tracks. But the star is still McQueen, whose personality shines through in the day brightening vocals.

Buzz McClain
No Depression
January-February 2004

- No Depression

"Critic's Pick -- Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands"

Music geeks are so easy. Yeah, we sit in the corner and scoff at mainstream American males for worshipping fake-breasted blondes for their looks alone. But put a non-threatening pixie with cat-eyed glasses and a guitar on stage, and watch the guys in Guided By Voices T-shirts get all giggly and enthralled. So it's no wonder that Elizabeth McQueen is getting noticed. A non-threatening long-haired pixie with glasses and guitar, McQueen looks ready-made to capture the hearts of vinyl dorks everywhere.

Fortunately for my credibility, McQueen, along with her backing band the Firebrands, has the goods musically as well. McQueen is a serious contender for the most honeyed voice in alt-country (watch out, Neko Case), and the Firebrands mix old-school Grand Ole Opry steel guitar licks with a healthy dose of electricity. The results, as heard on their début The Fresh Up Club, could be called Patsy Cline on Xanax. McQueen doesn't have the stable of songwriters such as Willie Nelson and Hank Cochran that Cline had, and her songwriting isn't as polished as her voice. But on The Fresh Up Club's closer, the dumpee's lament "I Think I'll Stay In Tonight," McQueen gets everything right: She channels good-old-fashioned depressing Patsy Cline in a slow-burning, sultry torch song. At Off Broadway this Friday, the song will have every Buddy Holly-bespectacled fella in the audience swearing that they would treat her better than that last cad -- if only they had the chance.

--Jordan Harper
September 17th 2003 - St. Louis Riverfront Times

"SXSW Live Shot"

Broken Spoke, Friday, March 14 Even the folks that love country music to death would have to admit that it's a fairly confining genre. Take the shuffle, the train-beat, the two-beat, the up-tempo honky-tonker, and the slow ballad, and you've just about summed up most of country music's menu. That's where Austin's McQueen and her band come in. Far from a one-trick pony, they can slip in and out of tempos and styles as effortlessly as people change their socks. Opener "Heads Up" was an instrumental with guitarists Chris Miller and Andrew Nofziger trading licks that split the difference between Buck Owens' Buckaroos and lazy Memphis soul ô la Steve Cropper. McQueen herself can do a traditional country ballad with the best of 'em, but her voice is strong and versatile enough to take on a slinky jazz number like her "Oldest Story Ever Told," reminiscent of Dinah Washington, or "Love Minus One," a slow, belly-rubbin' ballad with McQueen putting in just the right amount of ache. Also worth a note is the Firebrands' choice of covers: a LeRoi Brothers song, Chuck Berry chestnut "30 Days," and Robbie Fulks' "You Shouldn't Have" to wrap things up. It was all served up with a great deal of fun and enthusiasm, too, with the band trading shit-eatin' grins at each other the whole time, turning to laughter when Miller hit a clinker on "Oldest Story." What Elizabeth McQueen is doing these days is a far cry from Patsy Cline, Connie Smith, and Kitty Wells and certainly miles away from the crop of Nashville angels. In a marketplace that's saturated with traditional female country singers, that difference, along with her charm, talent, and attitude, may be just what she needs to really stand out.
--Jerry Renshaw
March 14 2003 - Austin Chronicle


The Fresh Up Club -- Gravitron 2003!
Happy Doing What We're Doing -- Freedom Records 2005
The Laziest Girl in Town -- Freedom Records 2010
The Lazest Remix (with Brothers Lazaroff) -- Release date April 2013



What happens when a singer and songwriter with a leaning towards American roots music hooks up a with a band from a another town that is as steeped in experimental, reggae, r& b and electronica as they are in old time fiddle music? That's what Elizabeth McQueen wanted to find out when she called on her friends Brothers Lazaroff to remix songs off her 2010 release "The Laziest Girl in Town." The answer turned out to be very good music indeed.

Elizabeth McQueen may not have been born in Austin, but she's a perfect fit for the town. Like the town she's lived in for more than a decade, the 35 year old singer's musical influences are all over the map.

In 2001 she moved to town with the goal of putting together a country band. That band, Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands morphed into an Americana band that played a mix of roots country, rock jazz and pop that they came to call roots pop.

In 2005 Elizabeth joined the Western Swing Band Asleep at the Wheel. Over 7 plus years she's been with the band she's covered countless miles, sung backup for Ray Price, Lyle Lovett and Merle Haggard, and dueted with Willie Nelson. Singing with the band made Elizabeth get serious about improving her chops, and so she started studying the stylings of the great female jazz vocalists of the mid 20th century.. Nina, Ella, Peggy and more. This inspired her 3rd solo record, "The Laziest Girl in Town" which she released on Freedom Record in 2010.

In January 2012 Elizabeth and long time friends the St. Louis based Brothers Lazaroff decided to see what would happen if the Brothers remixed a couple of songs off the "Laziest Girl in Town." They added touches of R&B. reggae, hip-hop and experimental noise to these decidedly retro songs, producing a product that they all prefer to the originals. The result was so exciting to both bands that they decided to finish the project. They launched a Kickstarter campaign, exceeded there goal and voila! In April 2013 they will release the Laziest Remix EP, 5 remixes and one original song.

It may seem like a strange direction for a singer who makes her living exploring a genre that has it's roots in the dancehalls and honkeytonks of early 20th century Texas, but for Elizabeth it's just they next step in her musical adventure. If there's one thing she's learned by living in Austin it's that all music worth exploring