Country singer smiling all over Vegas

Laura Bryna’s a small gal with a big head.

Her snow-white smile spans buildings — the Luxor, to be exact.

Currently, two 10,000-square-foot images of the country singer adorn the twin towers of the casino, her visage the size of a well-scrubbed baseball diamond.

“I’m a little Laura,” Bryna says with a giggle. “Being on the side of the building is probably the tallest I’ll ever be.”

Bryna’s face is all over Vegas these days.

At the Fashion Show mall, four towering LED screens play the video for her song “I Don’t Have a Thing to Wear,” in the Luxor and Excalibur, her music plays on 35 flat screen TVs every hour and her CDs and merchandise can be found in the hotels’ gift shops.

On Monday, she was scheduled to become the first country artist to perform at LAX. It’s all a part of a big push to introduce the Maryland-born singer’s debut CD, “Trying to Be Me,” and she and her handlers have chosen Vegas as the place to do it.

Now, this isn’t a city that acts have traditionally chosen to launch their careers, especially with expensive promotional campaigns.

It wasn’t that long ago that Vegas was where artists tended to end their runs in the spotlight, the last refuge for the falling star.

But with more than 3 million tourists coming through town every month, this is a city where someone like Bryna can be seen on a broad scale.

“We looked at how many impressions we could get of Laura’s image, the people who will see her face, see the title of her album,” says her manager, Roger Sarchet. “We basically feel like we could get somewhere between 13 and 15 million impressions over a month’s period of time.

“There isn’t anywhere else in the country where you can get those kind of impressions of an artist other than television,” he adds. “We thought it would be a great way to launch Laura and for a whole bunch of people to see her.”

Obviously, Vegas is no New York or L.A. when it comes to breaking acts. But perhaps the impression of this city as a secondary or even tertiary music market could change thanks to the built-in marketing advantages inherent in a place where there’s so many new faces stopping here every day.

Who knows how much this will all pay off for Bryna, though her polished, pop savvy “countrypolitan” sound is as slick and well-manicured as Vegas itself, and she’s careful to cover all the bases with a broad-minded sound.

“I love traditional country music, I love pop music, I love the blues, and I think that comes through on this album,” Bryna says. “I wanted it to have that wide range of things. I just hope the music touches somebody. If it does, then I’ve done my job.”

That’s a pretty tall order, but as Bryna has learned of late, size has its advantages.

Jason Bracelin’s “Sounding Off” column appears on Tuesdays. Contact him at 383-0476 or e-mail him at jbracelin@


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