Wednesday, Jun 12 2013 05:36 PM

MATT MUNOZ: Making most of her big break

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    By Photo courtesy of Brynn Marie

    Country-rock singer songwriter Brynn Marie appears with Pat Benatar and Cheap Trick at Rabobank Theater on Friday.

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    By Photo courtesy of Luke Torres

    Comedian Luke Torres will appear at the Latino Comedy Jam at the Fox on Saturday.

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    By Photo courtesy of Shayla Rivera

    Comedian Shayla Rivera appears at the Latino Comedy Jam at the Fox on Saturday.

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    By Photo courtesy of Inner Circle

    Reggae legends Inner Circle appear at B Ryder's on Friday.

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By MATT MUNOZ, Californian columnist mmunoz@bakersfield.com

When iconic rock vocalist Pat Benatar gave Brynn Marie a chance, the aspiring artist went out and hit it with her best shot every night.

"I had the chance to open for Pat last summer in Oklahoma and was asked back again and again," said the 28-year-old singer of landing the coveted gig that brings her to Rabobank Theater on Friday night, opening for Benatar and Cheap Trick. "Then one evening in February, I got a phone call for an offer to open this summer tour. I really owe it all to Pat, who really gave me a shot and told me to always stay true and to never give up."

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"First Look"

Catch Brynn Marie on "First Look with Scott Cox" Friday morning, where she'll perform a couple of songs.

On this morning's show, Assistant Lifestyles Editor Stefani Dias will interview an organizer of the upcoming Nut Festival and give away tickets to Pat Benatar/Cheap Trick, Boz Scaggs/Michael McDonald and Air Supply. Go to bakersfield.com from 7 to 10 a.m. this morning to get in on the action.

Her latest EP, "Things Change," showcases her blend of country and rock influences.

"I'm inspired by artists who have taken risks, from Shania Twain, Faith Hill, the Beatles to Foo Fighters. There's a little bit of everything. Country is my roots, and is always in my heart, but I'm a huge fan of rock and pop. I seemed to have blended all three unintentionally to create my own sound. I don't wanna sound like anyone else, I just wanna be me."

Another way Brynn Marie has cultivated her fan base is through a strong online presence from her website, brynnmarie.com, where fans can follow her every move through a series of social networking links.

"I've been singing for years, but being able to spread my music through the Internet is such a learning experience to me. Social media is so important these days, almost everyone has a computer or a smartphone, and it lets you connect directly with fans and vice-versa."

As she continues working toward her goal of reaching a wider audience and having a commercial radio hit -- her latest single, "Bandaid on a Bullet Hole" being a prime candidate -- Brynn Marie is confident Bakersfield will enjoy her live stage show on Friday.

"Every time I walk out on stage I put my whole heart out there. I like to take the audience on a ride with a high-energy set you can stomp your feet to."

Friday's showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $33 to $88, plus service charges. Rabobank Theater is located at 1001 Truxtun Ave. For more information call 852-7777 or ticketmaster.com.

Latin Comedy Jam

Saturday's Latin Comedy Jam brings together six of today's most prominent up-and-coming Latin comedians: Johnny Sanchez, Shayla Rivera, Ernie G, Luke Torres, Jerry Garcia and Dillon Garcia. According to Rivera, who describes her style as non-political, observational comedy, Bakersfield audiences should prepare to leave their real-life problems at the door.

"Expect a show with very funny people who bring lots of varied perspectives to the stage according to their experiences. Hopefully lots of wet eyes and crotches," she said.

"My comedic influences come from all funny comedians, not just Latinos," commented Jerry Garcia. "The Latino Comedy scene today I believe is making a huge comeback with a new wave of comics with an energy a lot of people haven't experienced before."

Comedian Luke Torres says despite the straitjacket of political correctness, stereotypes continue to be a comic's best source for material. Like it or not, audiences always laugh.

"My material is about everything and everyone. If it can be labeled, I'm going to crack it open and expose its weaknesses. When you come to the show, expect to see controlled chaos. I say the things people want to say, but are worried what others might think."

Saturday's showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.50 to $40.50. The Fox Theater is located at 2001 H St. For information visit vallitix.com or call 324-1369.

Wayne 'The Train' at Trout's

This weekend Trout's honkytonk in Oildale will be hosting a pair of shows straddling various subgenres of country music, with Wayne "The Train" Hancock on Saturday and Herrick on Sunday.

Hancock, an Austin music vet, carries the torch for down-home Texas honkytonk music and a live show tailored for the Trout's crowd. It's twangy, sometimes jazzy, but always satisfying. Saturday's showtime is 7:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are $10, or $12 at the door.

Country quartet Herrick blend modern folk, rock and blues, keeping up with the current flavors popular back home in Nashville. Still touring on the independent circuit, they've amassed a huge following online and visit Bakersfield regularly. Check out their music and videos at herricklive.com.

Sunday's showtime is 3 p.m. Admission is free, with special barbecue lunch tickets available for $10. Trout's is located at 805 N. Chester Ave. For more information, call 399-6700.

Matt's picks

Inner Circle at B. Ryder's, 7401 White Lane 8 p.m. Friday, $12 to $15, 397-7304.

After carving out their niche back home in Jamaica in the late '60s, reggae legends Inner Circle became one of the biggest-selling acts of their genre with their massive hit song "Bad Boys," which became the theme of Fox network's long-running TV show, "Cops." Their follow-up single, "Sweat (A La La La La Long)," proved to be another scorcher. To help preserve the island's musical heritage, the band launched the "Saving the Reggae Music" campaign in 2010 with the aim of promoting traditional reggae music over the increasingly U.S.-influenced pop music coming out of Jamaica. Also appearing: Bakersfield reggae rock quintet Amity Flow and deejay Shag.

Rockabilly Punk Night at Vinny's Bar, 2700 S. Union Ave., Saturday, 9:30 p.m., $5. Bakersfield rockabilly die-hard Loner Troubadour along with his band, the Rockabilly Rat, join fellow roots rockers the Pinebox Peddlers and the Barnyard Stompers on Saturday in the south Bakersfield neighborhood of Rexland Acres, where violating noise ordinances has never been an issue. Fans of The Cramps, Black Flag, Johnny Cash and The Misfits will enjoy this night at one of Bako's only authentic roadside music dives.

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