Heat Sin Water Skin
This is BettySoo’s third album, originally released in the US in 2009. It seems that her expanding reputation has prompted her record label to take the plunge and put her music out to a wider audience. The album was produced by the outstanding Gurf Morlix, who has worked the likes of Mary Gauthier, Slaid Cleaves and Lucinda Williams and for that reason alone it deserves as wide an audience as possible.
BettySoo has the type of strong voice that many will find endearing, but equally as many will find grating. During the quieter tracks such as “Forever” it is a voice that conveys great emotion or with “Never the Pretty Girl” makes the listener believe in its autobiographical lyrics whether or not they are true. However, when she really lets her voice go, to the extent that it borders on shouting, such as on the appropriately titled “Still Small Voice”, it requires a certain type of ear to appreciate it.
All the tracks on the album were written by BettySoo, with the exception of the final track “Lonesome Whistle”. And it is this final track that shows BettySoo’s ability –anyone who can record a Hank Williams song and make it sound like one of their own certainly needs to be listened to.
Along with Morlix, who not only produces but also plays guitar and provides some vocals, Todd Wilson plays organ; Gene Elders, who spent 10 years in George Strait’s Ace in the Hole band and also worked with Lyle Lovett, plays fiddle; with Dave Terry on drums. All of these musicians provide excellent support, but the sum of the outstanding parts do not result in anything more than a good album.
BettySoo is due to be touring the UK in September.