BettySoo simply stands out. The Texas native claims to be a bit of an oddity in the folk scene, but it’s got nothing to do with her height (5′) or her ancestry (Asian-American) – it’s all about her music.
Her latest album, Heat Sin Water Skin, perfectly showcases her clear soprano voice and her songwriting abilities (she’s won multiple awards including the Kerrville New Folk, Wildflower Festival and Big Top Chautaqua) in a mix of pop, folk, country and even a tiny hint of gospel.
The album kicks off with the bluesy groove of Never Knew No Love. That same blues-rock spreads through Get Clean.
Songs like Never the Pretty Girl and Just Another Lover focus on the intrinsic insecurities of being human.
With her vocals in When You Whisper My Name, BettySoo could pass for Alison Krauss’ twin sister.
And whether she’s singing about a relationship as comfortable as a old, worn-in pair of jeans (What We’ve Got) or from the perspective of a woman feeling trapped in a marriage with lines like “this ain’t no love tale, like Johnny and June” (Forever), the best tracks come out simply, without pretense.
The final highlight is her take on Hank Williams’ Lonesome Whistle. The rendition is sincere enough to make you forget that she’s an regular Twitterer and instead ponder how on earth she’d ever end up behind bars before contemplating the wonderful songs she might come up with before her sentence was finished.
Produced by Gurf Morlix (who also played sitar, pedal steel and half a dozen other instruments) and featuring Todd Wilson on keyboards, Dave Terry on drums and Gene Elders on violin, Heat Sin Water Skin will be available June 9th.