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Entertainment News

Saturday, 22 March, 2008 11:19 AM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Laura Bryna

Photo by Dana Tynan

Laura Bryna

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2008 CMA Close Up News Service

While attending high school in nearby Mount Airy, Md., Laura Bryna performed in Washington, D.C., with the South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and took classes at the Kennedy Center's Summer Drama Workshop. As an undergrad at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, she considered careers in archeology or anthropology and somehow found time to become fluent in French.

Yet she set all that aside and moved to Nashville, partly because of the comfort Country Music had offered during the six months her older brother spent in a coma, induced by a brain aneurysm, at age 13, which followed the sudden death of their father. Once settled, Bryna juggled music studies at Belmont University, internships at Sony/ ATV Music Publishing and DreamWorks Music Publishing and volunteer work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a commitment she honors on her first single, "Make a Wish," in which innocence and generosity trump the sadness in an ailing child's life.

All of which leads to Trying to Be Me, her Equity Music Group debut album, produced by Roger Sarchet, with Kyle Lehning co-producing three of its 12 tracks. The optimism of "Make a Wish," her sole co-write on the album, spills into "Life Is Good," whose message is as appealing as its title. And "640 Battlefield Drive" tells a wartime story told too often, involving a mother, her soldier sons and a life-changing letter.

Bryna's performance, ambitious and deep, sophisticated yet rich in down-home authenticity, shows that she's already succeeded.

IN HER OWN WORDS:

A PHRASE YOU REPEAT
"Super-fantastic."

ACTRESS TO PORTRAY YOU IN A BIOPIC
"Bette Midler or Dolly Parton."

MODE OF TRANSPORTATION YOU PREFER
"Anything that can get me from Point A to Point B."

BOOKS ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
"Believe and Achieve by various authors; Always Believe in Yourself and Your Dreams by Patricia Wayant; and Success One Day at a Time by John C. Maxwell."

TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
"Countrypolitan Laura Bryna: The Gal with Big Hair Who Does It All in Heels."

On the Web: www.laurabryna.com

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