Concerts

Aftermath: Betty Soo at McGonigel's Mucky Duck

It took Spring native Betty Soo a little while to get it rolling Tuesday night, but once she did she wowed the Mucky Duck's capacity crowd with her voice, lyrics and gentle personality. Working in fresh-off-the-road Jon Dee Graham bassist Joshua Zarbo for the first time, it took Soo's foursome a few tunes to warm up. But they finally gelled halfway through the first set, allowing Soo to fully open up and lean into her work.

And lean into it she did, most impressively.

And who knew going in that we'd be hearing a Korean-American girl channel J.J. Cale as guitarist Jeff Plankenhorn laid on licks thick as a steak on "Never Knew No Love," "Get Clean" and Soo's amazing tune "Still Small Voice"? Who knew Soo had the chops - and the guts - to suck the air out of the room by singing Hank Williams?

And she didn't just sing "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle," she gave it a singular interpretation like a jazz singer. The crowd was totally quiet, stunned by the beauty of the moment.

In the over-crowded, somewhat stale field of Americana, Betty Soo is the very real deal and, based on last night's spunky performance, we can only hope that she is going to become a familiar face on stages around town.

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William Michael Smith