BETTY SOO – FRIDAY, 5/16 @ 5PM
Grew up in Spring, TX. Moved to Austin to attend UT (hook ’em horns). Lived a pretty normal life, bought a house, worked a job, and got married. Then decided to become a singer…and by default, a songwriter.
Now with 3 solo albums, a solo EP, two duo covers albums, plenty of guest vocals on other great albums, and a slew of songwriting awards under her belt, BettySoo’s life looks pretty different from how it did six years ago, when she was a newlywed in graduate school (she dropped out to be a musician).
BettySoo’s shows are ever-changing and entertaining – as much for what is said off the cuff between songs as for the songwriting and her breathtaking delivery. Backed by her band in Austin, Texas (including Will Sexton, Jeff Plankenhorn, Todd Wilson, Paul Prestridge, and husband Mail Man Dave Terry), she’s garnered her share of great show reviews on top of the critical success her albums have achieved.
Her newest project, an acoustic duo with Canadian dobro master Doug Cox, has seen plenty of miles in its first year: BettySoo and Doug have played in the States, Canada, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
BettySoo’s songwriting awards include: Kerrville New Folk Award, Mountain Stage NewSong Winner, Wildflower! Festival Songwriting Competition Winner, Sisters Folk Festival Songwriting Competition Winner, and Big Top Chautauqua Songwriter of the Year. She has been a featured performer at SXSW, International Folk Alliance, Tin Pan South, Kerrville Folk Festival, Sisters Folk Festival, Vancouver Island Folk Festival, Old Settlers Music Festival, Wilderness Songs Festival (Netherlands), and many revered listening rooms.
Her style? There’s a little gospel, some straight-ahead folk, a bit of twang, a bit of pop, and maybe even a familiar oldie with a new twist. If you’re planning to see her live, be ready for a surprise.
Then again, not much about BettySoo isn’t surprising. People are surprised just to see her take the stage. Plain-faced, petite (clocking in at exactly 5 feet), and freckly, people don’t have any idea what to expect – they certainly don’t expect such a large voice and moving songs. “I guess Asian-American singer-songwriters aren’t that common,” she comments, “at least, not in Texas.”
And, of course, there’s the whole issue of her name. How did a second-generation Korean end up with such a classic southern name? Is it a stage name? “No,” she answers, laughing, “I guess I’m just lucky that way. It’s right there on my birth certificate. Soo is my dad’s middle name, too. Yep, he’s a boy named Soo.”