Don't let Bettysoo's size fool you — her voice can fill a room. Music has always been part of the Texas singer/guitarist's life, but she didn't see it as a vocation. That changed after teaching proved fraught with petty politics. (Turns out high school is high school even for teachers.)

While she possesses the pipes, she was still a newbie on 2005's Let Me Love You and 2007's Little Tiny Secrets. In 2008, the former creative writing teacher won the Kerrville New Folk Festival's songwriting contest, and recorded her third LP, Heat Sin Water Skin, with Gurf Morlix. Lucinda Williams' ex-guitarist discovered in Bettysoo a gritty soul reminiscent of his former employer, particularly on the skulking blues opener "Never Knew No Love."

Bettysoo builds on those lessons with her latest, Across the Borderline: Lie to Me, a covers album collaboration with skilled Dobro player Doug Cox. Among the highlights are her smoky jazz noir-tinged cover of Butch Hancock's "Boxcars," the slinky strut of Jeff Talmadge's "Lie to Me" and a tender take on Guy Clark's "Dublin Blues." What can you say? She's a quick study.



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