A native Virginian, Betsy honed her chops in the music scenes of Charleston, South Carolina, Asheville,North Carolina and Athens, Georgia before moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 2014. Her music reflects her journey through Appalachia; her clean, soulful voice carries these places with her wherever she goes.
Music came to Betsy early in life. As a child, she taught herself by ear, first on piano and then re-writing songs from her mother’s guitar chord songbook. She may be known in songwriting circles for her prowess with a pen, but is perhaps best known by fans for the strength of her voice. Her powerful vocal style, a common focus of accolades, has been described as “Gospel-strong,” and “siren-sweet.” Betsy’s vocals can soften you to sleep only to hasten your heartbeat in the same song; like a steady rain and crackling thunder.
After putting forth multiple albums featuring full arrangements, “Sweepin’ up the Porch” 2002, “Help Up By Progress” 2003, and 2010’s “Still Waiting”, she sought to pare back her signature band sound to give us a glimpse of the heart that lies behind all that power. Betsy is currently working on the follow-up to her first solo album, “This Far” (2012).
In addition to her own projects, Betsy has appeared on albums by Randall Bramblett and Todd Snider among others, and has been regularly tapped for session work by industry greats like John Keane and Ike Stubblefield. She has shared the stage with countless performers including John Popper (Blues Traveler),Bobby Keys (Rolling Stones), Cracker, Bloodkin, Ike Stubblefield, Grant Green Jr., John Keane, and David Blackmon and has been hired to play support for such prominent acts as Loretta Lynn, Billy Joe Shaver, Leon Russell, Lucinda Williams, Shooter Jennings, Chris Knight, Justin Townes Earle, St. Paul and theBroken Bones, Patterson Hood, and Jerry Joseph.
“Betsy has sung on many of my live shows and recordings. The passion, beauty and soulfulness of her voice always takes the songs up a few notches. She’s one of the best singers I’ve ever worked with because she always knows what to do to make a song complete. Betsy rules!”
“Lots to admire here. Keen-eyed, empathetic songwriting that reflects a strong Southern woman with a heart of gold.”
“Betsy Franck’s gospel-strong and siren-sweet voice will carry you safely over the personal turmoil that you’d normally approach like a patch of jagged asphalt. But beware: she can be as brutal as a bad stretch down a mountainside too. The Bare Knuckle Band is alt-country razorwire. Together, they’re as likely to save your soul as help you lose it over a game of pool with a dude named El Diablo.”
“Betsy Franck and The BareKnuckle Band do a playful, soulful style of Southern roots music, steeped in the ingrained sounds of Memphis, Muscle Shoals, Macon, Nashville, New Orleans and other historically musically-rich regional locales. Impressively, the band manages to blend it all together in seamless fashion on their new CD, Still Waiting. Franck has a terrific voice, bleeding humid weariness and sultry determination at once, and the tunes match it note for organic note. Definitely a group to watch.”
“[Betsy Franck’s voice] is straight out of the Aretha Franklin School for Blues Divas. . . surely Franck is someone that the music industry and the listening public should take into their hearts, minds and homes.”
“The harmonies created by the blend of Franck’s soulful blues vocals and the band’s high country style fulfills their glorious potential”
I have had the pleasure of working with Betsy on many record projects over the years. She’s my first call when I need someone with a smooth soulful vocal style.
These last several years I’ve been fortunate enough to share stages with Betsy several times. When my band was booked to play a holiday “with friends” type event at the beautiful Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA a few years back, the very first person I thought of–before Bobby Keys, before Todd Nance, before the rest of our beloved friends–was Betsy. I told my manager: we gotta have her. This was one of my rare intelligent moments. I knew she would ignite the show. ‘Cause that’s what she does…and she did, in her inimitable fashion. She blew the roof off the place.
Betsy first came to be known around Athens as a soulful, bluesy belter of a vocalist, but soon we all came to understand the further depths of her artistry. She could handle equally well a delicate, shimmery acoustic number, or a rowdy Rolling Stones cover…and she could write her own distinctive originals to boot. It just didn’t seem fair…but it sure felt fine.
Now Betsy has migrated West to Nashville. Athens’ loss is damn sure Nashville’s gain.