Looking for a Northern Michigan event? Musician Lynne Smollen (also known as Rhett Betty) is a Traverse City musician with a unique sound. Read on to learn more about her and find out about her upcoming shows. The original writeup was featured in the September 2015 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
It took awhile for musician Lynne Smollen to find her voice—the singer and self-taught guitar player struggled with stage fright until her 30s—but those who’ve caught her gigging around the North are just glad she finally did. Performing under the stage name Rhett Betty, Smollen has made a name for herself playing a mix of new blues and classic country—think Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Etta James. By design, she books her shows to catch the early evening crowd at wineries and happy hours. “It has been so well received, because our song selection and our style is kind of mellow and rich,” she says. “It’s the perfect thing to sip your wine to and enjoy a beautiful Northern Michigan experience.”
Smollen was born and raised in Arkansas, and she credits that geographical influence for leading her to love soulful, country-tinged tunes. “The songs I pick are songs that I love and connect with,” she says. “What motivates me, really, is I try to be authentic. It’s an offering from my heart.”