Brian Kalinec is an award-winning, Houston, Texas-based Americana/folk singer-songwriter. His East Texas roots have combined with his urban experience to form his own particular view of the world, which is reflected in his songs. A native of Beaumont, Brian picked up the guitar at an early age and began a life spent crafting songs and nurturing songwriters. His writing has drawn favorable comparisons to that of Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck, Rodney Crowell, and Jim Croce, and it resonates with audiences, fellow songwriters, and music lovers alike.
Songwriting has always been a passionate drive in Brian's musical life, one for which he has been recognized again and again. A past president of the venerable Houston Songwriters Association, Brian has a long and fruitful association with Texas songwriting. Brian co-produced the annual "Sonny Throckmorton Songwriter's Festival," sponsored by the HSA, in the 90s. He was a featured performer at the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the famed Spindletop gusher in Beaumont. He performed a song he wrote for his daughter Kerri titled "Challenged Child" at the 1980 National Convention of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf.
Over the years, Brian has received significant recognition across the US for both his songwriting and musicianship -- winning contests like the Songwriter Serenade in Texas and the Big Top Chautauqua in Wisconsin, and taking second place in the Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition. Brian participated in the "Shoulder to the Stone" project benefitting the Haitian relief effort and was one of the artists on the compilation CD.
He most recently earned second place honors in the 2012 CT Folk Festival Songwriting Competition and was nominated for the 2013 Texas Music Awards for Singer/Songwriter of the Year for the second time (having previously also been nominated for TMA Musician of the Year). He was recently named a finalist in the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest and a southwest regional finalist in the prestigious 2013 Mountain Stage New Song Contest. Brian also was selected as an Official Showcase artist at the 2013 Southwest Regional Folk Alliance and a Suzi Wollenberg Folk DJ Showcase artist at the 2013 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference. He has performed at venerable festivals and venues -- including the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Bugle Boy, Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse, and Gruene Hall in Texas, and the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Massachusetts and the Huntington Folk Club on Long Island NY.
Brian's most recent CD, The Fence, charted on radio both in the US and Europe, while his writing and guitar skills have drawn praise from well-known artists and musicians such as Steve Gillette, Steve Weisberg, Tom Pacheco, and Merel Bregante.
A recipient of the “My Texan” Award at the 2012 Texas Music Awards for his support of the music and musicians of the state, Brian is a past president of the venerable Houston Songwriters Association and has produced a number of projects for other artists in addition to his own CDs. He and his wife Pam own Berkalin Records -- a label that also features such well-respected artists as Matt Harlan, Jeff Talmadge, the late Tim Henderson (whose final CD was produced by Brian), Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus, Libby Koch, Daniel Boling, and Bernice Lewis.
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 "Singer/Songwriter of the Year"--Texas Music Awards -2013
- Regional Finalist-Southwest in the Mountain Stage Newsong Contest - 2013
- Official Showcase Artist at Southwest Regional Folk Alliance - 2013
- Folk DJ Showcase Artist at Northeast Regional Folk Alliance - 2013
- UK Songwriting Contest Finalist - 2013
Brian’s debut CD Last Man Standing was released on Berkalin Records in 2007; he has recently released a new CD "The Fence" which is garnering good airplay and charting in the US and Europe.