A singer with a big heart

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.

That upbeat attitude — which has sustained the Marin resident for 10 hardscrabble years in show biz — is the direct result, she says, of growing up in the small town of Baraboo, Wisc., population 10,000.

She says, “My dad’s that way, too. He’s full of life and he’s the guy in town that everyone knows will walk in with a huge smile and make everyone happy. And he always tells me, ‘Make sure you go out there and you smile!’ So I get that from him. I’m the one out of his four kids that got the smiley bug.”

Shane, 32, was destined for the spotlight; the indie pop rocker will be under another at Mojito in The City on Sunday, playing from her most recent recording.

At 2 years old, she demanded to study dance. Later, she was skilled enough to make her stage debut, doing soft-shoe to a Vanilla Ice song at her school’s annual recital.

“That’s when I got the entertaining bug,” she says. “I just loved the whole rush of being up there. Even though the stage made me very nervous, it was also a big high for me. I felt comfortable in front of a big crowd, being part of a big production.”

Shane still maintains a day job, teaching children’s tap and ballet at a Bay Area dance academy. She imparts her wisdom to the kids, and they, in turn, remind her to “have fun, dance around, be goofy and not care about what people think,” she says.

She maps out her rosy philosophy on her chiming, charming new hookfest “Have Heart Live Young,” on her own Painted Lady Records.

Produced by Scandal’s Zack Smith, songs like “Better” and the title track imagine a world with no cell phones, where everyone slows down long enough to enjoy everyday beauty.

“That’s what the album’s about — feeling happiness again,” says Shane, who’s married to her band’s guitarist, Bob Spector. “During the transition from child to adult, you can refer back to those little things from childhood that make you happy. And you can look around at life’s simple things and make your heart warm again. That way you can keep the light inside of you alive.”

Does this artist ever get depressed? “There have been some tough gigs, shows with nobody there,” she admits. “And I’ll think ‘Am I on the right path? Should I keep going?’ But if you do keep going, powering through, there’s always something good that’s ahead of you.”

IF YOU GO
Brittany Shane

Where: Mojito, 1337 Grant Ave., San Francisco
When: 9:30 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: Admission is free
Contact: www.mojitosf.com

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