Austin-based vocalist Elizabeth McQueen collaborates with local musicians on latest project

Emily Gibson

When Elizabeth McQueen moved to Austin from Columbia, Maryland, in 2000, she had tired of the East Coast lifestyle. But more than that, she was finally pursuing her dream of becoming a musician.

“I worked as a social worker for a year and realized I couldn’t do that, and I realized I hated the East Coast traffic and the pace of life up there,” McQueen said. “So I started looking for somewhere else to go.”

Since her relocation, McQueen’s musical career has led her to a variety of locations and opportunities: She fronted country band Asleep at the Wheel for eight years, sung a duet on stage with Willie Nelson, performed in the same band as her husband, remixed her own record and traveled thousands of miles on tours.

Her latest project is EMQ, a band she formed with old friends guitarist Lauren Gurgiolo and bassist Lindsay Greene. They hadn’t previously performed together because they were committed to different projects but formed EMQ when things started slowing down for each of them.

“We all found ourselves in town again, together,” McQueen said. “I wanted to start experimenting, and I knew I would want friends around me who are great musicians, so I called them up. It’s really worked out because I just love playing with them.”