A Collection of Astutely Selected Cover Songs
Following a trio of critically lauded solo releases, Texas-bred BettySoo has teamed with respected Canadian guitar/Dobro player Doug Cox--he resides on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and mostly plays resophonic guitar here--and calling themselves Across the Borderline, the duo, eploying only their voices and acoustic guitars, debut with the coverse collection LIE TO ME which they co-produced with Canadian music legend David Essig (Fred Eaglesmith, Stan Rogers). The pair met while teaching at Acoustic Alaska Guitar Camp, and in conversation discovered a shared interest in songs that possessed merit. As for the source of the ten North American compositions covered here, the score reads: Canada 2 : United States 8. Truth to tell as far as seven of the foregoing eight (songs) are concerned, their writers were either born and raised in Texas or at some stage of their lives resided there--the exception being North Caroline-born, New York-bred Loudon Wainwright III. On the latter's lyrically amusing, blues-tinged Be Careful There's a Baby in the House, Cox shares the lead vocal with the Texas songbird. Featuring BettySoo's lead vocal the album opens with the Jeff Talmadge penned title song, and it's followed by Canadian Jane Siberry's You Don't Need.
The remaining selections from Texas were penned by Butch Hancock (Boxcars), David Halley (the never officially released Ain't Gonna Make You Mine), the late Blaze Foley (Big Cheeseburgers And Good French Fries), Doug Sahm (Louis Riel), Betty Elders (Light In Your Window) and Guy Clark (Dublin Blues). As for the second Canadian sourced composition, Every Other Road was penned by the late Bob Carpenter (d. 1995). Carpenter's rendition appeared last year on the Stony Plain's release EIGHT DEMOS 1979. BettySoo mainly takes the lead vocal and delivers a wonderfully fragile interpretation of You Don't Need, which appeared on Siberry's early career collection NO BORDERS HERE (1984), and the same can be said of Elders' classic creation. If you've yet to succumb to the spell of Foley's quirky songwriting style maybe BettySoo and Doug's duet will tip the balance. It appears that Doug Sahm resided on Vancouver Island for a couple of years during the early 1980s after visiting Cox. Inspired by tales of the leader of Canada's 1885 Metis reellion (aka the North-West rebellion), Sahm write Louis Riel. Although not credited (on the liner) going by (her) past efforts, I should mention that the multi-talented BettySoo was the artist responsible for the gatefold card liner's cartoon artwork.
- Arthur Wood