Raised and influenced by honky-tonks and acoustic bars, Houston-born country folk singer BettySoo is now setting her sights on Lawrence.
BettySoo’s voice is hauntingly familiar. She almost sounds like Shania Twain, sort of reminds listeners of early work by The Chicks, is fairly similar to Dolly Parton … the comparisons could go on and on. BettySoo is nostalgic without blending in and modern without constrictions. Her voice could soothe a screaming baby in one song and get even the most exhausted college students ready to dance in another.
Her bright, clear voice rang through the phone as she spoke of growing up under the influence of her older sisters’ love for old jazz and country artists. A storyteller first and foremost, BettySoo says that many of her lyrics are fictional takes on real events.
“Growing up, my Barbies would always have the most epic dramas,” BettySoo said with a laugh. “I’ve always enjoyed telling stories. Songwriting is a natural extension of that love.”
BettySoo says she looks forward to performing in Lawrence again before kicking off a string of shows in the heartland.
The 43-year-old rising star will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11 at the Cider Gallery. Tickets are $20, and they’re available to purchase via Eventbrite.
Rick Frydman and Lisa Harris-Frydman, of Lawrence, are musicians themselves, and longtime fans of BettySoo. They’ve both seen her perform multiple times.
Harris-Frydman said she cried the first time she saw BettySoo perform.
“We were sitting maybe 6 feet away from her, and she pulled out one of those heart-wrenching songs and sang it with such power,” she said.
In 2018, the couple booked BettySoo for a concert at their home in Lawrence. The couple opened the show for an audience of approximately 30 people before she took the stage. Once again, Lawrence has them to thank for bringing BettySoo to town.
“I called her agent after hearing her a couple times,” Frydman said. “Most artists, if you like them, you can go online, find out who represents them and track them down.”
If our local journalism matters to you, please help us keep doing this work.
Don’t miss a beat … Click here to sign up for our email newsletters
Chloe Anderson (she/her) contributed to The Lawrence Times from August 2022 through May 2023. She is also published in Climbing magazine, Kansas Reflector and Sharp End Publishing. As a recent graduate of the University of Kansas, Chloe plans to continue her career in photography, rock climbing and writing somewhere out West.
You can view her portfolio, articles and commissioned work here. Check out more of her work for the Times here.