In his description of award-winning Texan songwriter Brian Kalinec, reviewer Staffan Soldy of Rootsy calls him "a combination of Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck, James Taylor, and Rodney Crowell in the stories he tells" with "a voice that captivates because it has such a strong ability to convey the words, tie them together with the music as a functioning whole". He is considered "one of the most creative songwriters from the Texas music scene" by Robert Bartosh of Roots Music Report in his review of Brian's CD The Fence, further describing his music as "revered". Michael Mee of Americana UK acknowledges him as "one of those natural storytellers who can fire the imagination." Beloved songwriter Tom Pacheco says Brian "sings, writes, and plays so seamlessly that it feels these songs have always been there."
Hailing from the southeast Texas town of Beaumont, Brian picked up the guitar at an early age and began a life spent crafting songs and nurturing songwriters. He draws upon true-to-life working class experiences for the inspiration in his writing. Songs like "The Fence", "Uncle Joe", and "Stranger in this Line" examine many aspects of work over a lifetime, from satisfaction to longevity to even the loss of a job. But he also reflects on relationships in his songs as well including "The Book I Can't Put Down", "Lone Star Lonely" and the darker "Carla Moore". Brian's more philosophical fare includes "I Don't Know", "Blessings of this Day", and "Nowhere at All".
Kalinec has a long list of awards to his credit, including 1st place in both the Songwriter Serenade Competition and the Big Top Chatauqua Song Contest, and 2nd place in the prestigious Woody Guthrie Song Contest. His song "Nowhere at All" garnered him recognition as a finalist in the UK Songwriting Contest. Brian is not only known for his songwriting but as a guitarist as well, having garnered nominations for both Songwriter of the Year and Musician of the Year in the Texas Music Awards in the recent past. He has been invited to perform at well-regarded venues including the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Bugle Boy, and Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse in Texas, and the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Massachusetts. Brian has toured in the UK and has appeared on WFMT's Folkstage. He was honored with the “My Texan” Award at the 2012 Texas Music Awards for his support of the music and musicians of the state.
Brian and his wife Pam also own Berkalin Records, the roster of which, in addition to Brian, includes such well -respected writers Matt Harlan, Curtis McMurtry, Jeff Talmadge, Libby Koch, Daniel Boling, Bernice Lewis, George Ensle, Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus, and the late Tim Henderson.
In her interview with Brian in No Depression, Kathy Sands-Boehmer writes "Brian's heartfelt lyrics and impeccable playing and production are testament to the hard work that he has given to his craft. Songwriting awards are accumulating on his resume as more and more people come to appreciate his gift for words and music. These are songs that stick to your soul and refuse to budge."
Brian’s significant awards and accomplishments include:
Winner of the 1st Annual Texas Songwriter’s Serenade songwriting contest at Fiddler’s Frolics - 2007
Music featured on ABC News’ World News Now
Nominated in the category of “Musician of the Year,” Texas Music Awards - 2008
Chosen as one of three finalists in the Rose Garden Songwriting Contest in Massachusetts - 2008
Regional finalist, Kerrville New Folk Competition - 2008
Finalist, Susanne Millsaps Songwriting Competition/FT (now Snowbird) Festival, Snowbird Resort, UT- 2008
2nd Place, Woody Guthrie Song Contest with his song “The Fence” - 2008
Winner, Big Top Chautauqua Song Contest, WI - 2008
“Singer/Songwriter of the Year” Nominee—Texas Music Awards - 2009
Regional Finalist-Southwest in the Mountain Stage Newsong Contest - 2010
Finalist-Great American Song Contest-Contemporary Acoustic Folk - 2010
Recipient of Texas Music Awards' "MyTexan" Award for support of MyTexasMusic efforts and the music of their fellow members - 2012
2nd Place, CT Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, New Haven, Connecticut - 2012
Nominated for Texas Music Awards Songwriter of the Year in 2013
Finalist UK Songwriting Competition 2013--song "Nowhere at All"
Official Showcase Artist 2013 Southwest Regional Folk Alliance
Some reviews of the CD: "The Fence" 2012 (more on website)
Staffan Solding--Rootsy (Sweden)
"Interesting lyrics, poetic touch and personal reflections combined with a supple musical setting. There is a combination of Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck, James Taylor and Rodney Crowell in the stories he tells...Brian is a fine singer - songwriter... he sings with a soft and strong singing voice, a voice that captivates because it has such a strong ability to convey the words, tie them together with music to a functioning whole. He is a brilliant guitar player...the combination of fine thoughtful lyrics, strong melodies and a clever musical cast make "The Fence" a strong album..."The Fence" takes its well-deserved place on the Euro Americana Chart..."
Link to review: www.rootsy.nu/recension.php?id=1952
Robert Bartosh--Roots Music Report (US)
"The new Americana/Roots album released from Berkalin Records featuring Brian Kalinec is making radio dj’s turn up their studio headsets. Brian Kalinec is one of the most creative songwriters from the Texas music scene we have heard this year at Roots Music Report. All 12 tracks on his new album “The Fence” are simply wonderful to listen to.
There is something special about listening to songs by a singer of this caliber that seem to invite the listener into the private life and thoughts of the songs’ creator Brian Kalinec. You can actually become part of these songs if you close your eyes and let Brian lead you on a wonderful melodic trip of your own.
Good music is something to be revered and this new album is one that is.
Yes I must say “Revered” says it all."