Doug Cox and BettySoo perform this Saturday at Holy Trinity.

Crossing musical borders

Doug Cox and BettySoo perform for the Sooke Folk Music Society's coffee house

The Sooke Folk Music Society`s next Coffee House, which happens this Saturday, Nov. 19, is one you won`t want to miss. We are presenting a rare appearance by that incredible “string man,” Doug Cox, who is bringing along his musical friend, BettySoo. They are out promoting their new collaborative CD, Across The Borderline.

BettySoo and Doug Cox 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, B.C. 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. 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. Louis Riel was written about one of the most celebrated underdog folk heroes in Canada and leader of the Métis rebellion.

“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 Borderline.”

With two voices, a guitar and a Dobro, Across the Borderline gathers different places and sounds: low and high, north and south, hope and heartbreak.

Not much about BettySoo isn’t surprising. Plain-faced, petite 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 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.  She is a powerful and often hilarious performer and an engaging, effective teacher About Doug Cox

Musically, dobro and string player Doug Cox covers the waterfront. From blues to World music Doug has collaborated with musicians from around thr world.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.”

Everybody’s talking about Cox. Described as “brilliant,” “stunning,” “ground-breaking,” “virtuoso,” and “a musician’s musician,” it comes down the same message: his journey is worth watching.

Please join us this Saturday, Nov. 19 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Murray Road for this “not to be missed” evening of incredible music. Doors open at 7 p.m. with open stage at 7:30 and our feature at 9.