ACL Fest 2014 Friday Interviews
1:30pm, Austin Kiddie Limits
When Elizabeth McQueen finally stepped down off the Asleep at the Wheel bus – home to Austin's locomotive Western swing act and her chariot for the last eight and a half years – the singer wasn't sure what terra firma held for her. That's when longtime friend David Lazaroff of the now St. Louis-based Brothers Lazaroff asked if he could remix songs from The Laziest Girl in Town, McQueen's solo jazz album from 2010.
"When he came back to me, I loved those songs again," she says brightly one morning at Cherrywood Coffeehouse.
That prompted McQueen and Lazaroff to launch a Kickstarter campaign in order to re-record six of the 10 songs, punching up the material with beats and distortion.
"Around the time we were finishing it up, it was becoming apparent that I was going to leave Asleep at the Wheel," she continues. "I had a choice to make: Do I continue doing Western swing? That would make a lot of sense – country or just Americana in general – which at that point I wasn't really feeling.
"Or do I just do a total 180?"
EMQ, the trio of McQueen, Okkervil River guitarist Lauren Gurgiolo, and bassist Lindsay Greene on Moog and MicroKORG, now follows in the wake of The Laziest Remix. Further electronic exploration on a summer EP – Patsy Cline meets Merrill Garbus – finds the young mother of two blipping smooth, eclectic quirk. Expect subtle shades of it at her Austin Kiddie Limits set, which skews musically to a much younger demographic.
"I knew that transitioning into being a leader again was going to be a little uncomfortable for me, but I wanted to work with people where I could say I don't know what I'm doing. And it's worked out nicely, because they're my friends and they know me."