is ambitious. "Every spare minute" is spent trying to make the music thing happen. "The only limit that there is for me is time." she says. "Fortunately the band has been together for four years and we're still doing okay."
Many would say more than okay. Bryski won the Female Vocalist in the 2004 Sammies and her music was described in the Sacramento News and Review as "...an updated, female-fronted Aerosmith. It's that rocking..." Speaking of rocking-- In March The Larisa Bryski Band, which includes her guitarist singer husband Willie Seltzer, will be hob-nobbing it with some of the very best in the business when they take part in the enormously important South by Southwest
conference where hundreds of bands from all over the country will swarm into Austin, Texas and spend nearly a week performing, talking, selling, schmoozing, jamming and generally inspiring fine music together. DMI is flying The Larisa Bryski Band out there to perform in a couple of showcases, see the iconic Robert Plant as the keynote speaker and maybe even run into living legend Madonna.
Bryski says she has been trying to be a professional musician forever. "I remember being five years old, I wrote a song and sang it acappella in front of my whole school in a talent show. When you're five you're fearless. You're just la lala la la..." she says in a sing-song lilt.
Bryski was just seven years old watching Laverne and Shirley with her grandma when the truth of her talent came to light for the first time. "I was sitting on the floor singing the theme song at the top of my lungs, vibrato, hitting all the high notes, and my grandma looks at my mom and says 'you know she can kinda sing'. I remember hearing her say it and kinda going hee hee hee, because in the back of my mind at that point I KNEW I could sing. I started telling my mom I was interested in music. I wanted Shawn Cassidy records. In the mountains we didn't have good radio stations so I was always trying to get my relatives to send me records. When I was eight my mom bought me a really old funky piano upright, nasty, paint chipping off it of it kind of thing. I started taking piano lessons and it was like--insert cool blast off sound here-- I was off and running!"
She began performing professionally when she was 14 and says that until she was 25 she was "in and out of a gazillion cover bands. "I was playing in bars and my mom had to write me a note to play. When mom got mad music was always the first thing she took away. "My stereo and my curling iron. She sent me to school with straight hair and that was bad in the 80's!
At first glance one would not think there could be much crossover in her two jobs. Bryski deftly explains the beauty of the crossover in her double life. "It totally works. Being a musician in Sacramento and working for a non-profit, I know a lot of people
and it's helped me in my job at Sierrra. I know radio station people who are interested in helping charities." Bryski has worked hard to build a good rapport with people and on occasion they may even do favors for each other. "Promoting your band is a lot like promoting anything. There is product involved, design, website. A lof of it goes hand in hand".
She admits that it's a lot to handle. "I get really tired because I have this double life. I get here at 7:30 am and work until 4:30 pm most nights, then I go to Skips and teach (vocals) from 5-8 and and then some nights I have band practice or shows. I teach on weekends too, then have shows at night."
For the rocking Larisa Bryski one thing is crystal clear. 'I will never stop playing music whether it with my band or solo, not necessarily performing but writing and teaching." "It's all important. The music is important, the job is important. But if I had to choose, I would always choose the music, it's just in me."