Soulful Southern rock singer returns to Steamboat tonight |

Soulful Southern rock singer returns to Steamboat tonight

Nicole Inglis

Betsy Franck will play at 9:30 p.m. today and Saturday at Old Town Pub with her Athens

Betsy Franck will play at 9:30 p.m. today and Saturday at Old Town Pub with her Athens, Ga.-based Bareknuckle Band. Denver's Sneaky Bastards open both nights, and tickets are $5.

— She speaks forcefully, with a husky voice and a slight Southern twang. She tells of singing and playing guitar at fraternity parties in the Southwest and how she had a tough year in 2010.

Betsy Franck is not afraid to be loud, and she's not afraid to tell her story. And her music is no different.

Franck, an Athens, Ga.-based guitarist and singer, will finish her second Colorado tour with two shows at Old Town Pub with Southern rockers the Bareknuckle Band. She'll headline tonight and Saturday, with Denver-based Sneaky Bastards opening both nights.

The shows cost $5 at the door.

Franck said playing in Colo­rado provided a sense of home for her. There was no culture shock in the mountains because when she arrived here for the first time she realized she shared a common passion with many Coloradans: Georgia jam rock legends Wides­pread Panic.

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A veteran of 250 Widespread Panic shows, Franck said she has many former acquaintances who now call the mountains home.

"It's weird because there's a real big Georgia contingency out here," she said. "You come here and it's all of my people that I used to go to Panic with. Everyone's into the same kind of thing, and it just kind of feels like home. It's beautiful, and that's what it's all about."

She said she was particularly excited for her return to Steamboat Springs where she played in the front room of Old Town Pub in late summer.

"Everyone is just so damn nice here," she said.

This show will be a little different, however. Instead of "sweet and awesome," as she described the mellow trio she appeared with in August, she said the Bareknuckle Band is "loud-ass rock and roll music."

She has played with the Bareknuckle Band for about seven years and released two albums, including 2010's "Still Waiting."

Three years ago at a house party in Athens, she met Mark Brut, now the guitarist in Sneaky Bastards.

She sat in with his band, and afterward he turned to her and asked, "Do you know how talented you are?"

"To me, you can't deny how talented she is," Brut said. "She writes songs; she plays; she's got an incredible voice that's soulful and real. That's what really drew me to her."

Brut moved to Colorado in 2009, but his new project maintains the influences of the South.

He never lost touch with Franck, allowing the two of them to take on Steamboat with their Southern, soulful rock this weekend.

"People from the South are very proud of their heritage, and it comes through," Brut said about his time in Athens. "There's so much musical influence going on all the time, to old country stuff to just straight up rock and roll."

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