Today, hometown girl Brynn Marie will make a trek of 1,000 miles to be in Waynesburg in time to headline Monday’s Rain Day celebration. It is a lifestyle she is becoming accustomed to these days. For today’s show, at the Redwood County Fair in Redwood Falls, Minn., she will be performing with country artists Drake White and Brett Eldredge.
It is a departure from her recent work. For about a year now, Marie has been an opening act for storied rocker Pat Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo, along with 1970s rock band Cheap Trick. It might seem like an odd pairing for country singer Marie but she said it has been a perfect fit.
“I’m not a traditional country singer. My music is edgy, heavy on drums and guitar. It is very in your face, I am woman,” she said. “It is country but it has that rock influence to it.”
The tour started with a chance opportunity for Marie to open for Benatar in Oklahoma at Lucky Star Casino. Benatar and Giraldo listened, unnoticed, to Marie’s soundcheck.
“After the first song, I heard clapping and there was Pat and Neil. It was like, ‘Oh my God this is unbelievable,’” she said. “Pat came up to me and was talking to me about the music business and we were sharing some stories. That night the show went really well. After Pat finished her show, she invited me onto her bus.” And then she invited her on tour.
It was one of many dreams come true for the 28-year old Marie who wasn’t even born yet when Benatar released her first album. Of course she knew her music, she said.
“Oh yes, my mom and dad are big fans of Pat. My dad couldn’t believe it. It is one of those things I think he had to see it to believe it,” she said of working with Benatar and Giraldo.
Dream come true No. 2 came on a call from Benatar.
“I got a phone call, ‘Hey, would you come up and sing, “We Belong,” with me?’ I thought, ‘Oh my Lord, what an honor,’” Marie said.
They’ve done the song every performance since and it is something that Brynn said, “never gets old.”
In June, a third one of those dreams came true when Marie stepped onto the stage at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville to open for Benatar and later sang with her on the stage.
Things are moving right along in the life of the girl from Carmichaels and she’s doing it her way.
“Right now, I’m doing it and it’s so much fun. It is so much fun out on the road. All the hard work everybody has to do is worth it,” she said. “I can’t believe we are opening for Pat Benatar with an acoustic guitar. It has made me push myself as an artist and I am so proud of it. If you can rock out with an acoustic guitar just wait until we get the whole band.”
Marie said her focus right now is on the show and the performance because people are coming out and paying to have a good time. When things slow down in the fall she sees herself drifting back into creative mode, writing new songs and such.
In the meantime, this week marked the debut of Brynn’s new single, “I’m Sorry,” on Billboard.com.
The lyrics, about a breakup, were originally penned from the male perspective. Marie said she heard the song and tears fell. She connected and instantly wanted to record her take on it. It is that independence in selecting material and having the final say that has driven her career thus far.
“I’m doing it in such a cool, old-fashioned way, just jumping in a car and traveling around the country. I’m gaining fans by playing for them and I love that. Firsthand, I’ll be able to connect with fans,” she said. “The thing I’ve learned the most is to believe in yourself 100 percent. Know who you are and don’t ever doubt it. The right people will accept you and believe in you.”
After that she said you have to “work your butt off.”
“With persistence and determination you can do anything,” she said. “I didn’t sit around and wait for somebody to come knocking on my door.”
No matter where the next road leads, Marie said she knows, “There’s no place like home.”
“A call from home will get me every time,” she said. “I can’t wait to be back for Rain Day.”