Commentators who like to keep things neatly slotted into place have struggled with Betty and The Boy, precisely because they defy simple categorisation. Though the quintet’s string-laden melodies occasionally anchor them in the territories of folk, bluegrass, or minimalist rock, they’re more at home in the cracks in-between.
It’s from these quirky, deeper, sometimes darker places that Betty Jaeger’s voice reaches up, takes you by the hand, and sweeps you along on an entrancing musical journey.
Hailing from Kalispell, Montana, her lyrics play with imagery from nature and are almost fairy tale in style with ever so delicate presentation.
The journey all started in Montana when Betty met Josh Harvey (from Portland, Oregon) a few years back and they started to collaborate.
Josh is a multi-instrumentalist, has a writing style that is entirely at home alongside his musical partner and was the reason for the band’s name which emerged when they began to play together as a duo.
Now based out of Eugene, Oregon, the band that grew around them like an all-embracing vine, features violinist Michelle Whitlock who likes to play her instrument in a lower register to add an intriguing layer or color; classically-trained cellist Nanci McDonald who also plays ukulele and guitar, and Jon Conlon on bass, a deft hand in the studio from working on the garage rock and punk scene. He gets the credit for capturing tracks that have won them most attention from their stunning 7-track EP, Good Luck, such as Moth To A Light, Good Luck, and Babel.
“Her voice and the texture of her voice, along with the instrumentation, which is almost semi-classical in places, is so striking. Difficult to describe, this is a unique ensemble playing good music – it’s pretty spectacular!”
– Woody Platt, The Steep Canyon Rangers
“Their first full length album, The Wreckage even has a decidedly old-school methodology behind it, based on the simple tenants of good songs, great playing and two captivating lead voices captured in the best way possible. But as the old and new worlds collide, musical forms get deliciously twisted into something highly original and thoroughly enjoyable.”
– Simon Holland, Folk Radio UK
“There’s something ancient and modern about Betty and the Boy – kinda Elizabethan and Americana too.”
– Frank Hennessy, BBC Radio
“Most interestingly, it instantly grabs hold of your brain and doesn’t let go to the point that you’re still humming the tune hours later.”
– Rob Fearnley, Fatea Magazine, UK