Musician Spotlight: Keith Michael Kallina

Mar 19, 2023

Based in the Texas Hill Country, Keith Michael Kallina, was raised in the tradition of small-town Texas life.  Music was always present in the home, and a healthy dose of classic rock from his father and country from his mother made for a variety of influences onto his musical palette. In November of 2019, Keith officially broke into the Texas music scene as a recording artist with a collection of stories titled ‘Authentic’. The seven-track project introduces Keith and details the realities of life as a working musician. Through vivid descriptions of love lost and found, battling of personal demons, and well-weathered stories of life on the road, Keith Michael Kallina bares his soul in a way that is relatable yet distinctly his own.

We sat down with Keith to discuss injuries, his musical start, and what’s to come for him in 2023.

How did you get your (musical) start? What inspired you to start playing music in the first place?

My earliest musical memories are in the car with my mom. We lived way out in the country and would have to drive 20 miles just to get into town. I would sing along with the radio to pass the time on those drives. I never really thought about it, it was just something I always did. So to answer the question…boredom!

Who are some of your musical inspirations?

Bob Dylan was probably the first artist I felt deeply inspired by. The writing and delivery in his early work had an almost otherworldly effect on me in my late teens and early 20s. It was like his music was able to express something I knew lived deep inside of me, something that I wanted access to but couldn’t quite get to on my own. In many ways, he was a gateway to appreciating other artists from the same era: The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Doors etc. That period of discovering music was very impactful, and still serves as a well of inspiration today.

What was the injury that first brought you into contact with MTF? How did it impact your ability to play music?

I had been having issues with my left shoulder for over 10 years prior to coming into contact with MTF. Our best guess is that the injury began when I was playing youth baseball, and worsened over time. I can best describe it as a nagging, dull pain that I had just learned to live with over the years. It was one of those things you can almost forget about because it was always there. More than just affecting my ability to play music, it was a detriment on my quality of life that I had just accepted.

What was your experience like receiving treatment through MTF? How long did it take for you to be able to play again?

I first came into contact with the Musician Treatment Foundation through Irene Chang-Cimino, several months after I had moved to central Texas from the Brazos Valley. She did such a fantastic job of explaining what the purpose and goal of MTF are that I had to refrain from getting too excited at first – when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is – ESPECIALLY in the music business. Fortunately, everything she said that day turned out to be true!

Irene helped connect me with Dr. Alton Barron, who was able to diagnose and offer treatment for my shoulder. He performed surgery to repair a torn labrum and has been very supportive and accessible as I have gone through rehabilitation.

It has been my pleasure working with MTF and I can’t express enough the gratitude I have for the treatment I’ve been provided with. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’d still be in chronic pain if not for the efforts of Irene, Dr. Barron, and everyone involved at Musician Treatment Foundation. Thank you all!

What’s coming up for you?

I am currently touring as both an acoustic act and with my band, Etta Place.  Dates are available through my website

I am also planning an upcoming album release this fall with Etta Place, and have new music being released on streaming services, so be on the lookout for that!

Where can people find out more about you and your music?

I’m most active on social media through Instagram, at @keithmichaelmusic and @ettaplacemusic. I am also reachable at

Listen to their work:

Musician Spotlight: Dr. Ben Wong

What inspired you to start playing music? I started playing the piano when I was 5 years old and my parents encouraged me to keep playing. It wasn’t until college that I realized I was very passionate about music. I think my parents’ persistence in music education planted a seed in me and it blossomed […]

Musician Spotlight: Peggy Stern

What inspired you to start playing music? I began playing as a small child; I actually wrote my first tune at the age of 6 but then was encouraged to become a pianist, later being educated at the Eastman School of Music (BM), and New England Conservatory (MM). I have been a musician my entire […]

Musician Spotlight: Tjarko Jeen

What inspired you to start playing music? There was always music in our house. My dad was a church organist before I was born. He left the church but never stopped playing. Music was this seemingly magical thing that put him in another place and I think he passed that love of music on to […]