Austin-based Americana artist, BettySoo, back in solo mode

The singer-songwriter performs at The Brightside in Dayton Monday.



It has been quite some time since BettySoo’s last proper solo album, “When We’re Gone” (2014), but she has been anything but idle. The Austin-based Americana artist, performing at The Brightside in Dayton on Monday, Sept. 25, has been involved with numerous projects.

There was the poppy, girl-group-inspired Charlie Faye & the Fayettes, which released a self-titled album (2016) and “The Whole Shebang” (2019). The harmony-driven roots music trio Nobody’s Girl released the albums “Waterline” (2018) and “Nobody’s Girl” (2021).

“I spent a few years playing mostly in other people’s bands,” BettySoo said. “I had some hard stuff go on in my personal life and I had a hard time really being, ‘Rah rah, BettySoo.’ So, it was a great escape to be able to play in a sideband with other people.

“I did that for a few years,” she continued. “Then we did Nobody’s Girl for a few years. I was writing all the time and a lot of the time I was still recording my stuff. I just wasn’t releasing it. For some reason, getting into the studio is really fun for me. I really enjoy that. Not everybody does but it’s fun for me.”



Back on track

BettySoo’s solo discography includes “Let Me Love You” (2005), “Tiny Little Secrets” (2007) and “Heat Sin Water Skin” (2009). During the pandemic, she returned her focus to her solo career. In 2021, she released a pair of digital singles, a cover of Richard & Linda Thompson’s “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight” and “Ain’t Living Long Like This” by Rodney Crowell. She has also shared some original material on “Insomnia Waking Dream,” a limited edition tour-only release featuring 15 demo tracks.

“I’m using that album with the studio recorded demos to try to save up money for my next studio release,” BettySoo said. “We were hoping to be in the studio this summer recording, but the touring has just been so busy that I haven’t been able to schedule the studio time. I’m pretty sure I’ll be going in to record again early next year. I don’t know when the album is going to come out. I’ve been recording pretty steadily all this time, so I have a gazillion songs. I’d bring the band guys in to record three, four, five songs.

“Then, I’d get so depressed thinking about the promotion that I’d just spend the money I had saved for the promotion part on more studio time,” she continued with a chuckle. “It’s like, ‘Well, this is the part that’s joyful and the releasing part is really depressing.’ But I know it has injured my career to keep recording and not put anything out. So, I’ve actually gotten over that a little bit.”

Watch the lyric video for “All Year Round” by BettySoo:

Jumping personal hurdles

BettySoo, the daughter of Korean immigrants, grew up outside of Houston. She has been a lifelong people pleaser.

“That probably comes mostly from being the third out of four children in a religious, conservative household,” she said. “Being a female in an immigrant household, you are kind of always apologizing for everybody. You’re always softening some kind of friction, whether it be language, cultural barriers or misunderstandings. It’s been like that my whole life.”

As a creative person, BettySoo admits that personality trait can be an obstacle.

“I’ll look at artists whose parents were artists, for example, or really liberal and I see the freedom with which they can approach their art, onstage persona or whatever,” she said. “It’s still a real hindrance for me as an artist, for sure. There are still things to this day as a middle-aged lady I won’t say or do if I think my mom is going to see it. I just can’t deal with facing her disappointment, or my dad or whatever.”



Forging musical alliances

BettySoo is currently on tour opening for James McMurtry. She’s also doing select solo dates like the show at The Brightside with local support from Amber Hargett and Elanore Dakota.

“It should be really special to see all three of us doing our things in that intimate way,” BettySoo said. “For us to be able to hear each other that way is going to be pretty cool. I’m on the road with James McMurtry right now but I will be solo acoustic in Dayton. Doing solo shows is fun. I’m really looking forward to meeting the other artists. Their stuff looks so cool online. It’s always great to meet other musicians on the road.

“It’s also especially nice to meet other women doing music to make more allies,” BettySoo added. “It’s nice to know more people that are cool that you can cheer on. That just feels good.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or


Who: BettySoo with Amber Hargett and Elanore Dakota Where: The Brightside, 905 E. Third St., Dayton

When: Monday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Cost: $10 in advance

More info: 937-410-0450 or

Artist info:

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