Song Premier: Brian Kalinec’s “Fix It Man” Asks What Really Makes A Life Well-Lived

[Photo credit to Kerri Clark]

Texan singer/songwriter Brian Kalinec will be releasing new album The Beauty of It All on June 30th, 2023 via Berkalin Records. While Kalinec’s music is multi-genre, it often contains elements of Folk, Americana, or Country and his upcoming album also draws from a wide sonic palette.

The Beauty of It All was Produced by Merel Bregante at Cribworks Digital Audio, and explores “everyday aspects of our existence.” Storytelling is key, ranging from the life of a rodeo concession worker, to the friendship of two neighbors headed down separate, unexpected paths, the difficulties of an aging handyman, to the late-night routine of a journeyman musician. It even takes in a youthful recollection of a fence built during the last vestiges of segregation and the coming together of a community during a flood.

Today at Wildfire, we’re delighted to premier the song “Fix it Man” from The Beauty of It All. The track focuses on the the reflections of the aging, titular, “fix it man” and the “good purpose” he’s found in his life that has brought him contentment.

By drilling down into the details of this man’s life, Kalinec paints a portrait of gradual but accepted change grounded in self-knowledge. Musically, vocals take a major role but gentle accompaniment and sonic spotlights suggest the dignity and harmony of a life well-lived.

Brian Kalinec comments on the track:

As time catches up with us, we adjust. But our essence remains the same. A life well-lived is one where we stay true to ourselves.

On this album, Kalinec wrote most of he songs, but he also premiers “Big Hearted”, written by Grammy-winner Steve Seskin and Kate Schutt, about “bridging our differences in our beliefs” and “The Wind” a co-write with Mando Saenz, which “poignantly demonstrates human resiliency.”

Kalinec performs most of the acoustic and electric guitar work on this record, and Merel Bregante not only Produced but provided drums and percussion, as well as background vocals on this record. Bregante also assembled musicians including: Pete Wasner on Grand Piano, Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, accordion, and synth, Cody Braun on mandolin and harmonica, Dave Pearlman on pedal steel, Patterson Barrett on pedal steel, Rankin Peters on bass, Mark Epstein on bass, James Rieder handling orchestration and double bass, Michael Dorrien on electric and acoustic guitar, Dirje Childs on cello, and Madelaine Herdeman on cello.

Background vocalists include Sarah Pierce, Merel Bregante, Jen Grove, Susan Elliott, Kalinec, and special appearances by Kelly Hanshaw, David Hanshaw, Jordi Baizan, Ken Gaines, and Madelaine Herdeman on “River of Kindness”.

Brian Kalinec concludes:

We all try to make the most of our time while we are here. Hopefully this album celebrates some of the quiet victories in our hectic lives.

Brian Kalinec was nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Musician of the Year in the Texas Music Awards in the recent past. He has appeared at the Kerrville Folk Festival, and venues such as Uncle Calvin’s in Dallas, The Bugle Boy in La Grange, and as a featured guest on Rich Warren’s Folkstage on WFMT in Chicago.

Brian and his wife Pam own Berkalin Records, a label which is home to a number of Folk and Americana artists. Kelanic is also Past-President of the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance, and was recently on the boards of directors for Songwriter Serenade and Houston Live.

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