Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands

The Fresh Up Club (Gravitron)

Every once in a while, a musician moves to Austin and knocks the town on its ear. Elizabeth McQueen is one of those. She possesses the killer combination of irrepressible energy, a sassy personality, and more talent than she's probably aware of, and it's all on display on her debut, The Fresh Up Club. McQueen has also rounded up a killer band, the Firebrands, that includes a couple of guitar hotshots, Chris Miller (Marcia Ball, Hollisters) and Andrew Nafziger (Bruce Robison, Karen Poston), plus guest shots from Casper Rawls, no slouch in the guitar department himself, as well as Dave Sanger, Jim Murphy, and John Michael Whitby, all of Asleep at the Wheel. Even with all that firepower, McQueen's voice is still the star of the show. A clear, supple instrument, it moves from the high-steppin' honky-tonk of the Robbie Fulks-penned "You Shouldn't Have" to a smooth and swinging original, "The Oldest Story," to a blowout take of Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days." There are a couple of soft spots, especially on some of the tunes she wrote herself, where McQueen shows that she still needs some seasoning. But the whole of The Fresh Up Club puts her in the company of such strong female voices from Texas as Libbi Bosworth and Rosie Flores. The road is wide open for Elizabeth McQueen.

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
George Strait
Honky Tonk Time Machine (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, May 3, 2019

Texas Platters
Dale Watson
Call Me Lucky (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, May 3, 2019

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Elizabeth McQueen

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle