The Endless Road Strings (ERS) is a classically trained ensemble formed in 2003 to accompany Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel during TommyFest in Elizabethtown, KY. The musicians include Julie Lastinger and Christina Simpson, violins; Joanna Binford, viola; and Rebecca Kiekenapp, cello. They stormed the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society convention in 2006 by invitation from Pat Kirtley and Mark Pritchard with the sole purpose of providing backup support for performing guitarists. They attend CAAS yearly and to date have played over 100 performances at the annual convention. ERS has shared the stage with many exceptional guitarists including Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles, Thom Bresh, Pat Kirtley, Jim Nichols, Tim & Myles Thompson, Muriel Anderson, John Standefer and Brooks Robertson, Guy van Duser, Stephen Bennett, and Stephanie Jackson.
ERS has recorded with several guitarists including Tommy Emmanuel (Little By Little “Tears for Jerusalem”), Stephanie Jackson (Coming Home “Reminiscence”), Muriel Anderson (Nightlight Daylight “Lullaby for Leo”), John Standefer and Brooks Robertson (GuitarSmiths “Cat’s In the Cradle” and “My Valentine”).
Winners of the 2012 National Thumb Pickers Hall of Fame Supporting Musician Award, members of ERS have worked as backup musicians for celebrities such as Arlo Guthrie, Mark O’Connor, Dave Brubeck, Matt and Pauly Zarb, Anne Murray, Bob Hope, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Ray Price, David Gates, Dinah Shore, Ann Hampton Callaway, Natalie Cole and the Moody Blues.