We caught another set of Betty Buckley's show at the Blue Note last night. From my seat by the sax player, I kept my eye on the set list and his sheet music. Since becoming enthralled with Betty's voice, part of my fascination has been with that hoarse sound she has - it's a sharp steel edge wrapped in velvet. Sometimes its soft, pushing itself over her vocal chords and when it burst finally over the edge, she pulls the microphone away from her body and belts out notes. Proclaiming it a feminist anthem, she sang Many a New Day from Oklahoma! somewhere in the middle of her sixteen song set. On the top of the sax player's sheet music for this tune was a hand written note - Sore Throat Key. So, her arranger and accompanist Kenny Werner has a name for that sound; not a typical b flat or the key of a, or whatever, because Betty is no one to call typical. My favorite moment was watching her leaning into the curve of the grand piano, dressed in her plaid ranch shirt and her diva sparkley shoes. She's definitely not typical, in looks, performance and especially voice. I hope there's no cure for her sore throat.
Seth Rudesky was there. We know he loves Betty too.