eTown Live Radio Taping: James McMurtry, Erin Rae, and BettySoo
The beloved national radio program and podcast eTown is coming back to Bentonville, Arkansas for a recording session in the Momentary’s RØDE House—and you’re invited to be part of the live studio audience!
Host and veteran bluegrass musician Nick Forster will welcome the renowned roots rock musician James McMurtry, folk-pop artist Erin Rae, and Americana artist BettySoo for an evening of soulful musical performances and captivating conversation.
In keeping with eTown’s signature blend of live music and engaging conversation between top-notch musicians and celebrated authors, scientists, and policymakers, the live show features performances from both musical acts, interviews celebrating local community leaders, and a one-of-a-kind musical collaboration with the eTown house band.
From the first note to the last word, there’s no better place to celebrate music, ideas, and community.
See you there.
Reserve your spot online or by calling the Box Office at (479) 657-2335 today.
Not a member yet? Join today to enjoy priority access to concerts and member-only events all year long.
Please allow 24 hours for new memberships purchased online to process before purchasing your member-priced ticket. To purchase your membership and tickets together today, call our member priority line at (479) 418-5728 or by emailing Memberships@CrystalBridges-theMomentary.org.
*Student tickets available to guests with a valid student ID, presented upon entry.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
James McMurtry is a prominent American musician known for his contributions to rock, folk rock, and Americana music. At the age of seven, he received his first guitar from his father, renowned novelist Larry McMurtry, and learned to play with guidance from his mother, an English professor.
In 1987, McMurtry’s musical journey took off when he won the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk songwriter contest. This success led to a significant break when he shared his demo tape with John Mellencamp, who co-produced McMurtry’s debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland. James also collaborated with music legends like John Prine, Joe Ely, and Dwight Yoakam in the “Buzzin’ Cousins” supergroup for the film soundtrack, Falling from Grace.
In 2005, McMurtry’s album Childish Things received critical acclaim, earning him song and album of the year honors at the 5th Annual Americana Music Awards. Today, he resides in Lockhart, Texas, often performing with The Heartless Bastards at The Continental Club. His musical legacy extends to his son, Curtis, who is a talented singer-songwriter following in his father’s footsteps.
Erin Rae’s musical journey began unexpectedly when she received a Martin acoustic guitar on her 18th birthday, prompting her to leave college after just one semester. Her initial focus was on connecting with her musician and writer community, but she soon realized the power of music to forge connections with people.
Since then, Erin Rae has graced renowned stages such as Newport Folk Festival and Red Rocks Amphitheater, sharing the spotlight with artists like Father John Misty, Hiss Golden Messenger, Jenny Lewis, Jason Isbell, and Iron & Wine. Her album Putting On Airs garnered her a nomination for Emerging Act of The Year at the 2019 Americana Music Awards, alongside other trailblazing artists.
When the pandemic halted touring, Rae embraced the opportunity to explore a diverse range of musical influences. While rooted in her upbringing in songwriting, her collaboration on Putting On Airs with Jerry Bernhardt, Dan Knobler, and Dominic Billett inspired her to break out of the traditional Americana mold and delve into a broader sonic landscape. Her newfound enthusiasm led her to immerse herself in the sounds of artists like Feist, Judee Sill, Wilco, Kevin Ayers, Pete Dello And Friends, Gene Clark, Scott Walker, and Jesse Winchester, sparking fresh excitement for her musical journey.
It’s the voice that gets you first.
BettySoo’s vocal prowess is a thing of wonder. A world-class instrument of deft phrasing and purity, a voice that knows when to hold back and when to dive in. At her own live shows, taking a verse onstage with friends or singing harmonies in sessions with Austin’s finest, BettySoo sings with consummate loveliness and self-assurance. A voice that knows the roots of American music inside and out; coming from a most unexpected place – a diminutive Korean-American with a deceptively girl-next-door demeanor.
Then the performance reels you in.
Touring the unforgiving circuit of listening rooms, clubs and festivals, BettySoo has mastered the art of performance. A funny anecdote sets up a song of heartbreak and need; a witty rejoinder belies the dark truths that underpin much of her work.
And that’s when you notice the songs.
They call it the live music capital of the world. Austin, Texas, is a city where the musical bar is set high. Since exploding on the Austin scene a decade ago, BettySoo has carved out an enviable niche among the very best the city has to offer.
Here’s what BettySoo has been up to:
Touring nationally, both solo and as dedicated support for artists such as James McMurtry, Chris Smither, and Alejandro Escovedo.
Wrote, recorded, and toured in Europe and the U.S. with Rebecca Loebe and Grace Pettis for the new buzz-heavy trio Nobody’s Girl, celebrating the release of their debut EP Waterline with Lucky Hound Records in Fall 2018 and their self-titled album July 2021.
Recorded vocal harmonies for countless luminaries, including two Eliza Gilkyson records, the latest James McMurtry release, Robert Harrison’s (Cotton Mather) solo release, Pat Byrne (winner of Ireland’s The Voice), among others.
Approved mixes for a sparkling country-rock collaboration with song-writer and filmmaker Gandulf Hennig (documentaries on Gram Parsons, Merle Haggard) produced by Grammy-winner Sheldon Gomberg (Ben Harper, Rickie Lee Jones), with guest appearances by Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), David Steele (Dwight Yoakam, John Prine), Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello), Taras Prodaniuk (Merle Haggard, Richard Thompson), and others.
Debuted two full-band, full-throated songs from her hotly-anticipated China Girl: The Songs of David Bowie and David Byrne at a packed-to-the-rafters benefit for beloved Austin bassist George Reiff with artists like Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes and Patty Griffin.
Designed and produced a creative productivity planner entitled Work Play Every Day that combines self-improvement prompts, creative ideas, productivity tools, and more — all within an effective old-school time-management device.
…and she still manages to find the time for one of her very favorite things: to sit in at gigs and collaborate with friends such as Butch Hancock (the Flatlanders), Michael Fracasso, Jaimee Harris, Bonnie Whitmore, and Jon Dee Graham.
BettySoo is as Texan as they come.
Raised outside Houston by first-generation Korean immigrant parents, educated at UT, she grew up listening to the Great American songbook and country radio. Older sisters led her to the world of singer/songwriters, and nights spent at The Cactus Café and Hole In The Wall turned her on to the legacy of Texas song.
Her 2007 solo disc, Little Tiny Secrets, garnered heavy regional airplay; 2009’s Heat Sin Water Sin produced by Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, Ray Wylie Hubbard), provided building blocks to a national (and international) audience. In 2014, When We’re Gone, co-produced with cellist Brian Standefer (Alejandro Escovedo, Terry Allen) placed her firmly in the first rank of songwriters working today.
She’s won the requisite awards: New Folk at Kerrville, Songwriter of the Year at Big Top Chautauqua, The Dave Carter Songwriting Award at Sisters Folk Festival, Mountain Stage’s New Song.
She’s played the festivals – multiple South by Southwests, Kerrville, Calgary and more. And the radio shows – E-Town, Mountain Stage, WoodSongs, BBC 2 with Bob Harris.
Her singing has been heard on Riverdale and Girl Boss, and her songs formed the musical backbone to Christine Hoang’s 2017 play A Girl Named Sue, singled out by Austin360.com in their review as “gorgeous, moving ballads comment(ing) on the themes of the scenes they punctuate.”
The future looks auspicious for BettySoo.
Until the novel corona-virus shutdown, the Nobody’s Girl project was touring nonstop, and their intelligent lyrics and tightly-woven harmonies keep their audiences entranced. The trio recorded a full-length album featuring players such as Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan), J.J. Johnson (Tedeschi Trucks), Glenn Fukunaga (The Chicks), David Grissom (Buddy Guy, Allman Brothers, Ringo Starr), and Michael Ramos (John Mellencamp, BoDeans), who reprised his role as producer. She hit the road as dedicated support for songwriting heroes James McMurtry and Chris Smither. You’ll likely see her onstage singing harmonies at shows for artists such as Eliza Gilkyson, James Hyland, Kim Richey, and more. Music programmers have an embarrassment of riches to choose from, and listeners still have the opportunity to re-familiarize – or hear for the first time – the extraordinary talent that is BettySoo.
In the Time of COVID-19, BettySoo cut a unique path through the broad streaming landscape — and as with everything she does, she approached it in a way that invites authentic connection, encourages compassion, and merits listening. Her weekly Nobody’s Happy Hour via Zoom fostered an intimate and meaningful community and were hailed by many as one of the most creative streamed residencies anywhere.
eTown, the internationally syndicated radio broadcast, podcast, and multimedia- and events-production nonprofit, was launched on Earth Day 1991 in Boulder, Colorado. Since then, eTown has produced musical, social, and environmental programming all focused on its ongoing global mission—to educate, entertain, and inspire a diverse audience through music and conversation in order to create a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable world.
You can find eTown on over 300 radio stations nationwide, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Vimeo, on Facebook and Twitter @eTownRadio, on Instagram @eTown_Radio, on YouTube, as well as at http://etown.org/.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Entry: Entry to the concert is located just west of the parking garage. Please be ready to show your mobile/printed tickets along with a valid ID.
- Re-entry: No re-entry will be allowed for this show.
- Parking: Please park in our parking garage located next to the 8th Street Market at 801 SE 8th Street.
- Note: There is an 8′ height limit for the garage.
- Seating: This event is a seated concert without assigned seating. Specific seats are available to ticketholders on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Bag Policy: You can bring one clear bag into the venue that is not larger than 12” x 6” x 12”, or a single one-gallon plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar). Exceptions for diaper bags, medical devices, and media apply—learn more here.
- In addition, you can also carry a small clutch purse, no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”, with or without a handle or strap.
- Bags will be screened as you enter. Security has final say on what is and isn’t permitted.
- Fun Food and Drink: Hungry or thirsty? Enjoy fun beverages from the RØDE Bar before and during the show. No outside food or beverages will be allowed.
- Cashless Event: Bring your credit or debit cards as we’re 100% cash-less.
- Photos and Video: For this performance, no cameras will be permitted in the venue (phones are OK). Please leave all cameras, including point-and-shoot cameras, GoPros, tablets, professional cameras, drones, selfie sticks, tripods, detachable lenses, and audio or video recording devices at home.
WHAT TO BRING AND NOT BRING TO THE CONCERT
- Valid ID and tickets to present upon entry.
- Water fountains will be available filling stations. Empty plastic water bottles are encouraged to help stay hydrated. (No glass, metal, or opaque plastic containers.)
- Bring your credit or debit cards. The concert is 100% cash-less.
- One clear bag no bigger than 12” x 6” x 12”, or a single one-gallon plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar). You may also carry a small clutch purse, no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”, with or without a handle or strap.
- All clear bags and clutch purses will be screened prior to entry. Security has final say on which bags will be permitted.
- No outside food and drink, large bags, coolers, or ice chests.
- No folding chairs or blankets. This event is a seated concert without assigned seating.
- No weapons or firearms of any kind are allowed, even if you have a permit.
- No laser pointers, glow sticks, and illuminating objects.
- No fireworks, fuel, or explosive materials of any kind.
- No skateboards, scooters, or wheeled devices other than ADA-compliant transport.
- No kites, frisbees, inflatables, or air horns.
- No illegal substances of any kind.
- No smoking or vaping will be allowed outside of designated smoking areas.
- No pets.
- No posters, signs, or promotional materials. Flyers and other promotional materials cannot be distributed on Momentary property without prior approval.
- No cameras or recording devices.
- Prohibited items will not be admitted or checked. Please leave these items at home or in your locked vehicle.