Exerpts from the article...
His venues typically are coffee bars and bookstores. His style, earthy and eclectic. Instrument of choice? Piano. Elk Grove Village resident Brian Fife, 34, can rip across a keyboard as quick as Elton John and attract a following as diverse as James Taylor's.
Teenagers, the middle-aged, and retired, alike, have been turning out to hear Fife's music. Fife exudes an irresistible warmth and authenticity through his music, which flows from his heart to his listeners during concerts, drawing them into an evening of casual "conversation." His performances are musically colorful and playful, while his messages are profound and wise.
A blend of folk pop and rock, Brian's music draws upon the traditional sounds of piano, guitar, and drums. But he adds ethnic percussion, with instruments like the Irish-tinged bouzouki and the fiddle; the African djembe drum and the congas, which deliver delightful rythyms and syncopation; and the Dobro, which contributes familiar country flavor. Mandolin, accordion, sitar, tablas, and wind chimes also are featured. The entire mix is captivating.
Although Fife may be humble and approachable, don't be fooled. He's no ordinary musician. He's a clever songwriter and extraordinary pianist, having earned a degree from Northern Illinois University's music school in 1987 as well as a certificate in music education there.
The first cut on 'Strength of Soul' has become Fife's signature song. It's called 'Perfect World.' The song speaks of an imaginary world that is pure and unblemished, a world that, for Fife, represents every path he had never taken, every choice he had never made.
Fife resolves to shatter that world in the last stanza of the song, which he feels can mean different things to different people. For him it was making the decision to record his CD after a creative dry spell and letting go of unfulfilled expectations and past compositions. For some others, 'Perfect World' has meant turning their backs on perfectionistic tendencies.
Fife believes his music can be applied on a lot of different levels. But ultimately he hopes it will lead to God.
"My faith in God is central to my music, in that my music flows out of a relationship with Christ. At the same time, the way I lyrically express myself is universal, meaning that somebody who is not necessarily a churchgoing person could hear this music and relate to the life experiences in it.
Fife would like to record another CD down the road and has already begun writing new songs, but most immediately, he plans to share 'Strength of Soul' with as many people as would like to hear it.
'Strength of Soul' is available at many Christian bookstores. Fans can also check out Fife's Web page at www.brianfife.com.
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