The 2015-16 Music on Maxwell listening room music series kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 with Brittany Shane and Bombadil at Sundance Gallery, 146 Maxwell Ave., Greenwood.
Brittany Shane Safranek, 38, decided to go by the stage name Brittany Shane after moving to San Francisco.
Shane opens the Music on Maxwell show. It is her first stop on a mini-tour she's doing in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia.
The small-town Wisconsin native said she was influenced by dynamic female performers such as Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan and Liz Phair. While pursuing a degree in English literature at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Shane discovered she could put her poetry and prose to music.
"I wanted to be a writer and I received a guitar for Christmas one year," Shane said. "A friend at my dorm gave me some guitar lessons for two packs of Camel cigarettes. Singing my poems was a whole lot easier than trying to get published.
"I wasn't very good when I first started," Shane said. "It definitely took a lot of time. My dad took me aside after my first show and said, 'Hey, Britt, I'm going to get you a gift certificate for voice lessons.' I was heart-broken, but it was kind of the best thing he could have done for me."
Shane got her feet wet with a couple of bands in Wisconsin, before selling one of her guitars to pay for a one-way ticket to San Francisco and she spent nine years there.
"I started out writing content for a website and went out to open mic's all the time," Shane said.
Shane started playing at the Fillmore Lounge in San Francisco, opening for Chris Isaak and the Wallflowers. She has also opened for Peter Frampton and Foreigner at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California.
She credits her album "Have Heart Live Young" for increasing her visibility as a singer-songwriter.
Shane is based in Austin, Texas now and has five albums. She is writing a new record.
Hear her music and watch videos at brittanyshane.com.
The folk-pop of North Carolina-based Bombadil headlines the opening show for the 2015-16 season.
Sometimes fluctuating between three and four members, the Sundance Gallery show on Maxwell Avenue will likely have three bandmates, according to band member Daniel Michalak. Joining him will be James Phillips and Nick Vandenberg.
"We all play a variety of instruments on stage and sing," Michalak said, noting Bombadil formed in 2005, while members were students at Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.
"Members have changed a bit over the years, depending on when people can play," Michalak said. "I guess I've been there the longest. We like to have songs that have stories, from things that have happened in real life."
Michalak said his song writing is often termed whimsical, although he doesn't necessarily intend it to be.
"When you listen to our music, does it sound kind of like church music and Jimmy Buffett got together?" Michalak asked. "Two of my biggest musical influences are church music and classic pop, but I don't think our band sounds anything like that."
Bombadil has five full-length albums and two extended-play releases. The band is currently recording a demo for its next full-length record due out next year.
"We're currently doing the scoring for a documentary movie, which is something new for us," Michalak said. "Some professors at UNC are putting together a documentary of their side of the fake class scandal that occurred at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. We've been working on a lot of sad, dark music about people getting fired and stuff like that.
"Our newest record, 'Hold On' had a song, 'Amy's Friend,' that was part of the soundtrack for the 2015 movie 'Trainwreck,' and our songs were played in Starbucks locations across the United States in April," Michalak added.
Launched in 2008, Music on Maxwell is a "listening room" music series in the gallery space of Greenwood photographer Jon Holloway's Sundance Gallery, 146 Maxwell Ave., Greenwood. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. For information, call 864-227-1188 or 864-993-7350.