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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

BettySoo June 18 at The Intersection--The Stache in GR

Writers keep a notebook on the front seat of the car hoping to capture that often elusive phrase. Austin-based singer/songwriter and former English major BettySoo has tried this on-the-fly method before but found she prefers the good posture, both-feet-on-the-floor writing exercise.

“I had a little hand held recorder with me I’d use in the car,” BettySoo said this week during an interview. “Now I just use a phone memo. Unless something really hits me over the head, and then I’ll pull over and record it, I prefer to sit down at my computer to write.” 

Besides, BettySoo says, the pen and paper approach leaves the door open for time-consuming doodling and drawing.

“I’ve never been one of those people you see at the music festival underneath a tree furiously scribbling out a song that inspiration suddenly attacked them with,” BettySoo said of her writing habit. “So much happens in your sub conscience that your brain works out between those sit down and write times that I’m not chasing the muse constantly."

BettySoo, with a singing voice described as "the perfect combination of strength, vulnerability, and clarity," appears June 18 with Alejandro Escovedo at the Intersection/The Stache in Grand Rapids.

BettySoo packs a lot of heart into her five-foot nothing frame. She recently spent a fair amount of time on the road visiting friends in rehab and helping others clean kitchens and bathrooms when they could no longer do it themselves. She admits these are not go-to topics for today’s singer/songwriters.

“My music doesn’t shy away from the graphic times in life,” BettySoo said. “For me it seems natural to be there for people; it’s what friends do. That’s what love is, I think. Loving when it’s convenient and loving when it’s not.”

And so what about that name: Betty Sue is one of those names entrenched in American culture. She says its been both a blessing and a curse.

“My parents had decided to name me Betty Sue and at the very last second changed the spelling to S-O-O,” BettySoo said with a laugh. “They don’t even remember where they heard the name and they had been living in the states for 7 or 8 years.”

They say you can take the English major out of the classroom but you can never take the classroom out of the student. Maybe that’s why BettySoo still writes on a typewriter.

“I feel like the physical affects the mental, and the physical affects emotional,” BettySoo said. “Sometimes having a different feel of the keyboard underneath my fingers brings out a different connection to the brain. Maybe I’ll write a different song than I would at the computer. I think it’s good for the brain to have change.”

Alejandro Escovedo wsg BettySoo tonight 7:30 (doors 6:30) at The Stache inside The Intersection downtown GR.

Intersection link: http://sectionlive.com/events/alejandro-escovedo/

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