Emily Strayer, the banjo and guitar player of the Grammy Award-winning country band The Chicks, is one of today’s best female artists. Together with Martie Maguire and Natalie Maines, Strayer ignited the genre’s girl power era in the late 1990s.
Let’s get to know more about Emily Strayer with these facts.
1. She’s a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Born Emily Burns Erwin on August 16, 1972, the country singer spent most of her childhood days in Addison, Texas. Her parents were both employed as instructors in private schools and nurtured her growing interest in music.
2. She began learning to play string instruments at an early age.
Strayer started playing the violin when she was only seven. Three years later, she added banjo to her repertoire – and afterward, all the other string instruments she could find.
3. She’s the younger sister of fellow The Chicks member Martie Maguire.
The two talented sisters developed and refined their instrumental and vocal skills together. When Strayer got better with the fiddle, Martie forced her to learn something else as she wanted to keep the fiddle as her instrument. As a result, Strayer mastered the five-string banjo just by reading books to teach herself.
In high school, Strayer and Martie teamed up with two schoolmates, siblings Troy and Sharon Gilchrist, to form Blue Night Express, a bluegrass quartet that toured across the country for more than five years.
4. She expressed herself by songwriting.
Unfortunately, when her marriage ended, Strayer began writing songs to ease the pain. Some of her works include her feelings about the breakup.
5. She’s the lead vocalist of Court Yard Hounds.
When Natalie Maines took a break from music, Strayer formed a side project with her sister Martie – called Court Yard Hounds. In 2010, the band made its live debut and released their album, in which Strayer wrote all of the songs except for one.
6. She’s a mother of four.
In 1999, Strayer married country singer Charlie Robison. The couple was blessed with three children: son Charles Augustus and twins Julianna Tex and Henry Benjamin. Sadly, their marriage ended after nine years, with the two deciding to get divorced in 2008.
In 2013, Strayer married Court Yard Hounds‘ guitarist Martin Strayer and had a daughter together named Violet Isabel Strayer.
Isn’t it great to get to know one of the most talented artists in country music history?