We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Kalinec and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brian, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Whether or not we want to recognize it, we take risks in all aspects of our lives. The choices we make actually are a form of risk, and we typically make those choices based upon logic/information, passion, our gut instinct, or some combination of these. My wife and I got married my last semester in college because I was planning to move to Houston for a career in music. She took a risk on me…of course love played the major role. A year after we were married our daughter was born. When we found out she was hearing impaired, we had to decide on whether to place her in an “auditory/oral” program where she learned to hear and speak only with her aided residual hearing, or in a “total” communication program where we felt she would also be taught sign language. We decided on the first program because we wanted her to have the best chance to assimilate into hearing society. That turned out to be a great choice, but it was a tough decision and, looking back, a big risk. I also decided to change careers and go to work as a geophysicist. While there was not much risk involved in the initial decision, later in the 1980’s the industry became an extremely unstable job market, and even after being offered a job by the company which purchased the firm for which I worked. After working as an employee for companies being bought, sold, or going out of business, I was ready to go out on my own and have been an independent consultant for almost 34 years. During the last 25 years, I have invested in energy projects, many of which I have actively generated. This has taught me a great deal about risk…most have been successful, but a number were not. In my music career, I have taken different kinds of risks. When I write a new song, I am always anxious as to how it may be perceived by the audience. My writing is a passion, but I am always working to improve my craft. Once I record it the song is out there for everyone to hear. I have been fortunate to perform at festivals across the USA and overseas. But the most important thing for me is connecting with another human through song, and hopefully affects that person in a positive way. That is truly what makes the risk of “putting myself out there” worth it.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I often refer to myself as having parallel careers. My work as a geophysicist requires me to utilize logic, organize and integrate different types of data and employ analogies to find oil & gas deposits. The process is not just a scientific process, but a creative one as well. My work as a musician is primarily creative, but in the recording process I employ many of the same digital techniques I first learned about early in my career in seismic data processing. So they are surprisingly related… As I mentioned when discussing risk, I’ve been an independent for almost 34 years. It became obvious to me in my first ten years as an employee of several firms, starting my own firm was the right path for me. While it’s never easy to go out on your own, the satisfaction of building a business certainly makes the certain bumps in the road worth it. You have to learn to be flexible, focus on your client’s needs and getting the job done. You have to be willing to go the extra mile and give you clients extra value. Creating goodwill is always the key to any business. I currently serve on two boards, the Lamar University Department of Earth and Space Sciences Advisory Board and the Geological Data Library Board. The secret to a good musical performance is much the same. Preparation and rehearsal are paramount. While on stage, always imagine yourself in the audience. Are you connecting with them? Are you presenting your songs with passion in message and music which somehow make this a worthwhile experience to them? Are you performing for them or for you? When it’s time to end the show, end it. If they want an encore, give them one. But never leave them wanting less… I currently serve on three boards in the music industry. Currently, I am president of the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance, a member of the board of Songwriter Serenade, and on the Houston Live Board. I resumed my musical career some 20 years after I left it in the late 1970’s I believe that in my case my focus and commitment to it was no doubt stronger than it was early on. I have always considered it a gift and I appreciate my opportunity to make a difference through music later in life. Over the past 20 years or so I’ve had the opportunity to perform on a regular basis with some amazing musicians, including Jeff Chambers, Carolyn Wallace, Joelle Joyce, Melinda Mones, Libby Koch, Rankin Peters, Jeff Duncan, Merel Bregante, and most recently, with Kj Reimensnyder-Wagner. I’ve recorded two CDs, “Last Man Standing”, and “The Fence”, and am about to release a duo project “Let’s Get Away” with Kj. We perform together as Kalinec & Kj. My goal is to be known for giving my best…if that is the impression I leave I know I have succeeded. That IS my brand in every endeavor.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would make sure we were able to visit, dine, listen to music and hang out at as many of these places as possible while my friend visits… Destinations Burke Baker Planetarium Museum of Natural Science NASA in Clear Lake City Hermann Park Bayou Bend Beer Can House Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park Glenwood Cemetery Memorial Park Sam Houston Park Art Car Museum Bats on Waugh Discovery Green Minute Maid Park Kemah Boardwalk The Strand The Galleria Restaurants Original Ninfa’s on Navigation Segari’s Irma’s The Aquarium Downtown Original Brenner’s El Tiempo Music Venues & Drink Karbach Brewery St Arnolds Brewery Eighth Wonder Brewery Anderson Fair Mucky Duck JP Hops House House of Blues

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents, John and Mildred Kalinec were the embodiment of the virtues of love, kindness, faith, hard work, and persistence. By their words and their example they demonstrated to their children what was truly important in life. They were both active in our church and school. Mom would always be there to help in the cafeteria, to help with field day, or any other activity where parents were involved. Dad would join our scout troop on camping trips and help keep us in tow. In my early in my musical career my father, along with several other parents , managed our band and carted us to various venues around SE Texas. These are just a few examples. They encouraged us to follow those things about which we felt passionate, and supported us in the interests we chose. My love, my wife, Pam, has always been there for me. She has a great ability to see the ramifications of a decision before it is made, She is honest and forthright, She has always supported me once I’ve made a decision. We’ve enjoyed traveling a good bit of the world together. Pam also has a great sense of humor…which is probably a good idea for anyone living with me, haha. I am inspired by her authenticity, her intelligence. My daughter Kerri Clark is our best work…in spite of her profound hearing loss as an infant, she has become a brilliant woman, excelling in photography, graphic design, web design, and other related fields. She had to work hard as a young girl to learn to use her hearing and to learn to speak so she could function well in a hearing world. Kerri is extremely imaginative in her work, and highly regarded by her clients. She is extremely smart, kind, generous, and has a wonderful sense of humor. I am continually inspired by her persistence. There are so many others I could put on this list, I would however like to mention two. One is my friend since we met in the 5th grade, Clyde Landry. The other is a friend I met in the early 2000’s, Charlie Stewart. Clyde has cerebral palsy, and for much of his life, walked with a cane. We spent a lot of time together over the years. elementary school, part of high school, and college. In spite of his disability, he went on to open a mattress store and a tax service and has just only recently retired. He has always been an inspiration to me and gave incredible support as we dealt with our daughter’s hearing loss. I first met Charlie Stewart in 2003 at a Southwest Regional Folk Alliance Conference. He is a larger-than-life character who knows an incredible amount about music. I do not remember if he heard me perform at that conference, but over the next couple of years he came to my showcases. At the conference in the fall of 2005, he asked me after my showcase was over when was I going to get off my butt and do something with my music? I took that for the compliment I discerned it to be and hired him in early 2006 to be my manager. That was the single best musical decision I’ve made. He has guided me well and I have been fortunate to play music festivals, promote my music, and be recognized for my music in competitions in the USA and abroad. Charlie has been an integral part of our label, Berkalin Records, Pam and I launched in 2008, and we have had many critically acclaimed releases from a number of touring Americana and Folk artists. Charlie also has CP. He, too, inspires me. And yes, Clyde and Charlie have met…

Website: briankalinec.com
Linkedin: Brian Kalinec
Twitter: @BrianKalinec
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Brian-Kalinec
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUGr4sjmxsVTvwIft9482RQ

Image Credits
Profile photo: Kerri Clark @KerriClarkDesigns

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