BettySoo & Doug Cox
ST JAMES HALL i
3214 West 10th Ave, Kitsilano
Accessible All ages
BettySoo and Doug Cox (aka Across The Borderline) might seem an unlikely pair. One hails from the cadre of songwriters living in Austin, Texas, the other from the paradisiacal reaches of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The two musicians met while teaching at Acoustic Alaska Guitar Camp, where they discovered a shared fondness for good songs.
Living 2,500 miles apart (a couple airplane flights plus a long ferry ride) and working in different musical worlds aren't circumstances that make for convenient collaboration. But their friendship and musical respect were immediate, as they found countless familiar threads in the people and music they admired. Some songs they shared were penned by writers celebrated around the world, others were lesser-known, and still others were written by dear friends. BettySoo and Doug decided to create a show built around the stories and work of their mostly-unsung heroes.
Raised in Texas, BettySoo grew up hearing the names and music of certain
Texas icons - characters like Doug Sahm, who lived on Vancouver Island
for two years in the 1980's after visiting his friend Doug Cox. It was
during Sahm's time on the Island that he penned "Louis Riel" and
fashioned the idea of returning to Texas to form the Texas Tornados. Cox
was road manager for the first tour leading to the formation of the now
legendary band. Sahm's "Louis Riel" was written about one of the
most celebrated underdog folk heroes in Canada and leader of the Métis
The touring and recording BettySoo and I plan to do is
based on all the stories and songs we have each collected over years of
being surrounded by great characters. says Cox,
Lots of these
songs are in danger of disappearing if they don't keep being sung.
Keeping these songs alive is what we intend to do with Across The
Another songwriting hero from Texas, Betty Elders is often considered
the gold standard of female singer/songwriters. With songs recorded by
Joan Baez and Lucinda Williams, it is strange her name is not as
recognized as it should be.
'Light in Your Window' purrs like a
classic; says BettySoo,
it's a song that transcends generations
and time periods, recalling countless stories of insecurity, jealousy,
and heartache. It's a demanding piece in terms of emotional delivery:
the melody is so pretty, your first instinct is to just kind-of float it
out, but that's not what the lyrics demand. I love a song that pushes
you to get inside the story.
Not much about BettySoo isn't surprising. Plain-faced, petite (clocking in at exactly five feet) and freckly, people have no idea what to expect when this young Korean-American takes the stage; they certainly do not expect her large voice and deeply moving songs.
But in a few short years, BettySoo has proven herself an ascendant songwriter with multiple awards (Kerrville New Folk, Mountain Stage NewSong, Big Top Chautauqua Songwriter of the Year, Wildflower! Festival, Sisters Folk Fest), a powerful and often hilarious performer (SXSW Official Showcase, Int'l Folk Alliance Official Showcase, Kerrville Folk Fest Main Stage, Sisters Folk Fest, Old Settlers Music Fest), and an engaging, effective teacher (Acoustic Alaska Guitar Camp, Sisters Americana Song Academy).
In the over-crowded, somewhat stale field of Americana, BettySoo is the
very real deal...Patty Griffin's heir apparent. - William Michael
Smith, Houston Press.
Musically, Dobro and string player Doug Cox covers the waterfront. From Blues to New Acoustic Music, World Music to Americana, Doug has collaborated with iconic British blues master Long John Baldry, India's musical royalty Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, guitar master Amos Garrett, Austrian Dub band Dubblestandart, American songwriter Chuck Brodsky, and African guitarist The Mighty Popo, to name a few.
One doesn't find one's self in such esteemed musical company without some serious chops, and Doug's got those. Less often remarked upon but every bit as important is the fact that Doug Cox has "big ears."
And everybody's talking about Cox - newspapers including The Toronto Daily Star and The Boston Globe, music magazines including Folk Roots, Guitar Player, and Acoustic Guitar - and all kinds of other folks. Described as "brilliant," "stunning," "ground-breaking," "virtuoso," and "a musician's musician," it comes down the the same message: his journey is worth watching.
Some people are born to play music. By the age of three, Ivonne Hernandez was playing violin by ear, everything from her mother's favourite Maritime reels to her father's Chilean folk music roots. A child prodigy, she soon was playing guitar, piano, cello, flute, and percussion before joining Daniel Lapp's BC Fiddle Orchestra. While still in her pre-teens, Ivonne played on the Orchestra's Fiddleharmonic CD and before 60,000 at a Commonwealth Games performance with the Crash Test Dummies.
At 13, Ivonne was the youngest member of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra and formed Fiddlemania, a dual-violin band with her younger sister, Kalissa. She was the Merritt Old Time Fiddlers' Provincial Champion for two years running before becoming a judge at the event as a 15 year old. Ivonne is the reigning 5 time Grand North American Fiddle Champion, and has performed with Mark O'Connor, Alan Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Jann Arden, U2's the Edge, Natalie MacMaster, Earth Wind and Fire, Steve Winwood, Burt Bacharach, Juan Louis Guerra, Rosa Pasos, Ben Hepner and legendary film composer Howard Shore.
Ivonne Hernandez has mastered Canada's traditional fiddle music. She embodies the country's 21st century multiculturalism, and her music reflects the new century's marriage of cultural influences. The young fiddler transforms her folk music roots into an exciting and dynamic new form. For this gig she has teamed up with Victoria-based singer / songwriter Jeremy Walsh (formerly with Scruj MacDuhk in his native Winnipeg) an excellent guitar accompanist with a powerful voice and a fine collection of original and traditional songs. Looking for something new in folk music? This is it!