Brittany Shane, self-titled EP. The Wisconsin native’s engaging vocals stand out on this six-song set of Americana-leaning pop and rock tunes that feature backing from prominent locals including guitarist Brad Rice, drummer Brian Ferguson and backing singer Noelle Hampton. Release show Aug. 12 at Central Market Westgate.
Supported by an able-bodied posse of seasoned players, steady, centered Baraboo native and Austin transplant Brittany Shane keeps a level-head, if just this side of a second wind, on her crackling new mini-album. A pleasant collection upon first listen and a rewarding restorative after many more, Brittany’s brave-face grace and double-down directness connects the half-dozen tracks into a rich song-cycle orbiting love’s push and pull. A singer-songwriter, dancer and Mom; all parts of Shane’s personality come together in this self-titled work with poise, discipline and affection apparent in every line. A beacon projecting calm resolve and soft-spoken strength, Shane’s patience reins in the crashing guitars, restless rhythms and runaway twang to make her sixth album a testament to taming wild hearts and reaping life’s rewards.
Baraboo News Republic – August 1, 2018, Ben Bromley
As far as Brittany Shane is concerned, No. 6 is No. 1.
The musician who graduated from Baraboo High School in 1995 as Brittany Safranek has released her sixth album, self-titled using her stage name. She said it’s her best work yet. “It really captures me, my band and how I sound live,” Shane said.
“Brittany Shane” is available on iTunes, at amazon.com and at her own website, brittanyshane.com. She’s holding a release party Aug. 12 in her home of Austin, Texas. “The hard part is getting it into the hands of everyone,” Shane said.
The album has been in the works for five years, interrupted by the arrival of her son, Oliver. She wrote half the songs before his birth, the other half after. They address themes of love, loss and moving on with a rock ’n’ roll sound.
The Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail once said Shane “mixes the lilt of Stevie Nicks with the power of Sheryl Crow.” Shane got her start performing at the Memorial Union while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She released her first two albums in Madison before selling one of her guitars for a one-way ticket to California. She started performing there, alongside such acts as Chris Isaak and Liz Phair, in 2001. By 2009 she was opening for Heart, Foreigner and Peter Frampton and playing an 80-city U.S. tour.
She found Austin was her favorite stop, as it reminded her of Madison. Shane visited Texas and decided to stay. Today she performs live every couple weeks, which means bearing 110-degree heat.“You have to be tough if you want to play music in Austin,” she said.
Shane’s songs have been used in several television shows, including a tune she wrote about her father Clem’s morning visits to the Alpine Café in Baraboo, which was featured on “Rizzoli & Isles” in 2014. Several of her songs provided much of the score of the independent film “The Village Barbershop” in 2010.
Away from the microphone, she spends her time caring for her 2-year-old son, who inspired her new hobby, writing children’s books. She said the rhyming, rhythmic wording of children’s books reminded her of writing songs. So she’s giving it a try. “It’s kind of an easy transition,” she said.
She and her husband strive to make annual visits to Baraboo. Her family played a key role in creating the album’s artwork, with her brother Dustin Safranek snapping photographs and her uncle Mike Grunder handling graphic design.
“I feel like it’s my best album yet,” she said.
ALPINE GETS NATIONAL NOTICE
Baraboo News Republic – July 2014
A Baraboo native’s song about a downtown restaurant is going national.
On Tuesday evening, Brittany Shane’s “Have Heart, Live Young” will be heard on the TNT television drama “Rizzoli and Isles.” It will play in the background during a scene at a café, which is fitting given that Shane wrote it about her father’s daily visits to the Alpine Restaurant.
“It brings back great memories of going there with my dad,” she said.
A 1995 Baraboo High School graduate, Shane is a professional musician in Austin, Texas. She wrote “Have Heart, Live Young” about her father, Clem Safranek, and his morning visits to the Alpine. He used to bring his four children there for breakfast every morning. Now that they’re grown and living all over the U.S., he writes them notes or sends them text messages while enjoying his toast and coffee.
Safranek said he misses those daily family meetings, and is honored to have inspired a song. “Have Heart, Live Young” is about the advice he imparts in those notes, encouraging Shane to slow down, live like a child, enjoy the little things and keep her heart open.
“Sometimes you don’t know what good you’ve done right away,” Safranek said. “I think the kids are saying, ‘Hey, he might’ve said something that might’ve been worthwhile.’”
Shane makes a living teaching children and playing gigs at wineries and parties. She recently released a new album — her fifth — titled “Loud Nights on a Short String.” The song airing Tuesday evening is from a previous album, recorded when Shane was in San Francisco. A friend sent the song to a placement agent, without Shane’s knowledge, who in turn passed it along to TNT. It made the cut.
“It was actually a surprise,” she said.
Shane insists upon visiting the Alpine during her visits home. She loves its unchanging décor and community of friendly regulars. “Hopefully more people will go to the Alpine in Baraboo when they hear it,” she said. “I tell everyone here in Texas about Baraboo.”
Her father is just pleased he didn’t inspire one of those “woe is me” country songs. “It wasn’t about my bad habits,” he said with a laugh.
Wisconsin-raised guitarist-songwriter Brittany Shane, has opened for veteran rock acts such as Foreigner, Heart, and Peter Frampton. She moved to San Francisco in 2000 to write, sing and perform her brand of 1990s-influenced alternative rock. Shane has worked with Joe Chiccarelli (production work with The White Stripes), Zack Smith (formerly of Scandal), Scrappy Jud Newcomb (of Ian McLagan’s Bump Band), and Dony Wynn (formerly of Robert Palmer?s band). Her music has been featured in the indie film and critical success The Village Barbershop (2008) and on the channels E!, A&E, Oxygen, and even a Hyundai TV commercial. In this interview, Brittany talks about her latest album Loud Nights On A Short String and more.
It’s been more than a decade since Brittany Shane did what many musicians dream of: She sold her guitar for a one-way plane ticket west.
Eighteen year old Baraboo native Brittany Safranek moved to San Francisco with plans to stay a year before hitting L.A. She established herself as a folk-singer, recording three well-received CDs and rubbing elbows with celebrities from Peter Frampton to Chris Isaak, but ten years, a name change and a half a dozen day jobs later Brittany Shane decided to pull up stakes again and make Austin her new home. Part of her reason was how much it reminded her of Madison. Two years and already an established fixture with weekly gigs, Brittany revisits Wisconsin this July with a sparkling new CD, “Loud Nights on a Short String,” and many warm memories.
by Jeremy Burchard
Loud Nights captures a level of musical exploration indicative of Shane’s growth. You won’t hear the same drum sound twice on the record: a noticeable amount of detail went into sculpting a rhythm section unique with every tune. Sometimes it’s subtle, as in “Paper and Pen”; elsewhere it’s in our face, as with “Don’t Let Me,” adding a level of almost spastic energy. Vocally, Shane floats around a melody with a Sheryl Crowe-like sensibility. Indeed, the whole album is glued together by Shane’s steadily persistent vocals, which feel perfectly at home in “Fun Here,” “Summer Calling” and “Hazy Rose.” Much like the music, Shane’s lyrics vary from finely tuned simplicity to the esoteric. Recorded in 11 days in the sweltering summer heat of Austin, Loud Nights on a Short String is Shane’s most musically interesting offer to date.
Guitarist, songwriter, and singer Brittany Shane’s latest full-length Loud Nights On a Short String, has inflections of Sheryl Crow, and The Bangles, and The Sundays which enhance the summer ambience of this album. The love poem introduction “Paper And Pen” unearths a light groove and serves as a marker of what will follow, evidenced by the folk-tinted “Summer Calling” and the acoustic aura of the yearning “Come Around,” which could be interpreted as a call for optimism.
by Tom Lanham
Brittany Shane splits SF for Austin: It’s a good lesson in life: You can’t take things for granted. Like regular Bay Area concerts from local folk-rock darling Brittany Shane, whom you could always catch somewhere around these parts every other month or so. No longer. She’s split the scene for good. She made a clean break, packed up all her belongings, and headed down to Austin, a town practically fueled by her type of music. “And believe it or not, I’m having a blast,” she reports. “I’ve made tons of new friends and I’m fitting in with the mindset down here quite well.” Now Shane is hard at work on a follow-up to her recent “Have Heart Live Young” album. “And in San Francisco, I never had a booking agent,” she sighs. “But that’s one of the first people who found me in Austin — a booking agent, who’s very aggressive about getting me shows.” She’s also been working with local musicians — another twangy new stylistic influence. “It’s a whole new lease on life, creatively,” she says.
Rockin’ around the U.S.
Who: Brittany Shane
When and where: 5-8 p.m. tonight at Burke & Riley’s and 8-10 p.m. Saturday at Blue River Bistro, Breckenridge
Where’d the name come from? Brittany Shane is my name, and I’m the singer-songwriter (I say this line like I’m in an old Western movie, squinting my eyes from the bright sun and about to get back on my dusty horse after a long day of fighting cowboy crime).
Home base: Bay Area, Calif.
Type of music: Rock, pop, alt-country blend. People have compared me to Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, The Bangles, The Sundays and the Cowboy Junkies a few times. I love writing catchy songs that tell a good story.
If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? A kitten. Frisky, daring — but sweet and lovable in-between.
Why do people love ya? I’ve been on my first U.S. tour since November 2009. I left the day after Thanksgiving, and this July is my last set of tour dates before I head back into the studio (what we musicians call rest??!). Hmm. Most people are just learning who I am. Friends and family are impressed that I have circled the U.S. four times through rain, snow, you name it. Three band mates in an SUV. I’ve waited my whole life to tour, so I’m ready to share my music with everyone and anyone. I guess I won’t ask if you love me; I’ll just play your city first.
How do you keep it fresh? I clean out the tour van. Seriously, I’ll write new songs or add new cover songs to the set. That usually wakes up any band mate getting too comfortable.
Claim to fame: My music is featured in the award-winning independent film, “The Village Barbershop.” The Village Barbershop is currently playing on Showtime 2 and Encore and is available on Netflix.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done/weirdest experience? I performed at a hookah bar on the first leg of my tour. I was told I’d be paid for my performance with one hookah and three flavors. The owner, who looked like Ron Jeremy, was really high, so we only saw him once before we played. He went into his office, which was filled with smoke, and never came back out. It looked like he stepped into another dimension, or into the doorway that Kelly LeBrock stepped out of in the 80’s movie “Weird Science.” After our set, the band and I gathered around our free hookah and celebrated with a few flavored puffs. We couldn’t decide if this was cool and different or just plain dumb. I just wanted the owner to open his door and walk out as Kelly LeBrock.
San Francisco-based Brittany Shane has been quite the transient being as of late, logging time on the road since last November supporting her newest disc Have Heart Live Young. The singer-songwriter has been hard at work for more than a decade honing her distinctive, plainspoken and folksy tunes, and will be rolling through Flag Brew, 16 Rte. 66. 10 p.m. 773-1442.
By Darryl Smyers in Gig Alert
Out on her very first nationwide tour, San Francisco’s Brittany Shane is innocence personified–and her recently released third effort, Have Heart Live Young, is as optimistic and peppy a collection of folk pop as one is ever likely to hear.
But Shane’s music is only part of the story: The gal is a proponent of organic farming, makes her own non-toxic cleaning supplies and supports The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. And, when not on tour, Shane teaches children tap and ballet classes. What’s next, a run for president as the candidate for the Green Party?
OK, OK: Such cynicism is certainly not warranted. Shane simply stays true to her ideals. And Have Heart is a solid set of shiny, soft rock loaded with hummable choruses. Songs such as “One Station,” “Move into Light” and “Sunsets in Bloom” recall ’80s hitmakers The Sundays and The Bangles. Light, but not unsubstantial, Shane’s music is the kind of pop that sounds great coming from the car radio.
by Tom Lanham
Special to The Examiner
Anyone who has met local singer-songwriter Brittany Shane will probably agree: The bright-eyed bohemian is so perpetually cheerful and optimistic, she could shame Pollyanna.
There are hundreds of booths offering food, wine and crafts, there are kid attractions like a petting zoo, pony rides and a bounce house, but what really sets this fair apart is the music lineup. Two stages feature, among other acts, Brittany Shane, Tommy Castro, the Unauthorized Rolling Stones and Shana Morrison, and at 10 a.m. next Sun. there’s a high school battle of the bands. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. next Sun. Downtown Novato on Grant Avenue between Redwood Boulevard and Seventh Street. (415) 897-1164, www.novatochamber.com