in uptown Manhattan in good old New York, singer-songwriter Peter
Galperin released Just Might Get It Right in 2014. The
follow up to his critically acclaimed 2013 album A Disposable Life,
Galperins new five song EP takes a left turn at the George
Washington Bridge and heads south to Nashville. With production assistance
by Chip Hardy, Just Might Get It Right features Peter
backed up by a solid crew of seasoned music city session guys including
the well rounded guitars of Smith Curry, keyboards by Dane
Bryant, bassist Rod Lewis and the rock solid drumming of
Tim Grogan. Living up to the Nashville name on the recording
sessions, these new country-rock flavored Galperin songs have a cutting
edge pop sound in a similar realm as Roy Orbisons late period
tracks. Compared to Galperin's socially satirical vision on A Disposable
Life, the five track Just Might Get It Right takes a look
into songs of lost love and renewed hope. With the accent on memorable
pop hooks, Just Might Get It Right combines rock and country
and comes up with a new kind of 21st century Urbane Country sound.
The songs are each memorable, the production first rate and theres
plenty of listening pleasure on top for fans of Galperins earlier
releases, as well as those new to the man. One can only wish him well
as he builds upon the chance to bring his music far and wide. A man
with a plan, Peter Galperin tells mwe3.com, Building my song
catalog is my priority so Im writing new songs and trying to
get better and better at it by always striving for that old-time country
song adage: three chords and the truth. www.PeterGalperin.com
presents an interview with
You just released a new CD EP called Just Might Get It Right. How
would you compare it to your 2013 album A Disposable Life and
also why just five songs this time? The EP format is great but in
this case, it always leaves you wanting more. Would one of
the differences be that the new album was recorded in Nashville and
how did Nashville influence the recording and sound of Just Might
Get It Right?
Peter Galperin: Wanting more is a good thing, right? Originally
I thought Id record a few more songs, but it just seemed that
these five tunes worked really well together as a group. Last summer
a friend asked me why I hadnt written any love songs, and I
hadnt realized Id avoided doing that. So for this CD I
tried to write more from the heart than from the head, which is a
different approach for me.
My last CD A Disposable Life was very cerebral with songs that
talked about things like consumerism, outer space, and dogs. And I
recorded this CD in a different way too. I think recording in Nashville
and how we recorded made a big difference. The sound of Just Might
Get It Right is very live and warm, and the only way to get that
is in a studio environment where you capture the energy between the
mwe3: Not A Day Goes By kicks off your new CD.
Is that the country music influence and theres somewhat of a
Cajun influence on that track too. Theres some hot dobro, slide
and pedal steel on the CD. Can you tell us something about that track
and also how did you put the band together that played so well on
the CD? What was the chemistry like in the studio?
Galperin: I recorded at The 515 studio in Nashville that my friend
Amanda Williams highly recommended to me. The studio is owned and
operated by Chip Hardy and Rod Lewis. I told them the types of instrumentation
that I was looking for and they put together the players. And this
band was truly my personal dream team. We basically recorded the songs
live, usually in one or two takes and then added a couple instrumental
overdub tracks along with my acoustic guitar, vocals, whistling, and
a little harmonica. The musicians were so fun to record with, sometimes
Id forget my vocal cues because Id get caught up in just
listening to them.
Before the recording session we sat down and talked about each song.
We listened to my rough demos and to an inspiration song.
Id picked out tracks by other performers that I really liked,
usually because of the beat or a groove that I wanted these guys to
hear. It was a pretty diverse group of songs, for example for Not
A Day Goes By we listened to Clifton Chenier, and you picked
up on that Cajun influence right away. By the way, the dobro, slide
and pedal steel was all courtesy of the wonderfully talented Smith
Were certain tracks here based around your real life experiences and
when were they written? Is Another Love a good example
of the real life experiences we all share? Is there a mellotron sound
on the track? Its a great country rock song but it sounds like
New York for some reason.
Peter Galperin: I try to write songs that have a universal
appeal, I dont want them to be too specifically about my own
life. But all of these songs were written in the past year and when
youre writing from the heart its impossible not to pull
your own life into it. I believe in the adage that there are three
versions to every story; your version, my version, and the truth found
somewhere in the middle. Another Love is about a failed
relationship, but our protagonist (the singer) is taking it in stride
and hoping that he has learned something from it, though hes
honest enough with himself to suspect that maybe he hasnt learned
That mellotron part, by the incredible Dane Bryant, who played all
of the keyboard parts on the CD, is probably my favorite instrumental
part on the entire CD! And as far as the country rock influence goes
I think instrumentally its definitely there, but a good beat
is a good beat and Rod Lewis on bass and Tim Grogan on drums were
an amazingly tight and inventive rhythm section. I think the two of
them have been playing together for over 10 years and they instinctively
know how to play off of each other.
mwe3: Who helped you with the production on the CD? I saw Chip
Hardy mentioned as production guru and also Andrew Schlesinger receiving
credits. The sound and production is quite good throughout the CD.
What were some of the details involved in the production side of Just
Might Get It Right?
Galperin: Chip Hardys involvement was invaluable. Hes
an industry legend with song writing and production credits on recordings
from Loretta Lynn to Dean Martin and back again. He sat in on every
session, directed the show, and was very supportive. Hed hear
something in a track or a take that wasnt quite right and wed
go back and redo or fix it on the spot.
I have to admit that initially I was a bit nervous in taking this
approach to recording. Im not a country singer and Im
a bit of a control freak. On my previous CDs Id brought in a
number of other musicians, but Id never recorded live with a
full band. I'd layer the tracks individually. Id actually recorded
basic guitar and drum tracks for all these songs in New York about
3 months earlier and my initial thinking was that if the Nashville
sessions didnt work out I could always go back to working with
those rough New York tracks the way I had done my previous CDs.
But after that first session with Chip and the band I knew that Nashville
and The 515 was the right place for these songs. Andrew Schlesinger,
who was the mixing engineer on my last CD A Disposable Life,
is my security blanket. Hes been involved in my music going
back some 25 years and I really trust his instincts, his opinions,
and most importantly his ears.
Bring Her Back gets back to a modern country music influence
again. Is that the most country flavored song on the new CD? Did you
double track the vocals? I did see that you had a backup singer on
the track. Theres a kind of Roy Orbison influence on that track.
When you write a song like Bring Her Back do you keep
singers like Orbison in the back of your mind? How about other country
music influences that might have crept in? Its a real tear-jerker
of a song. Roy would be proud of you!
Peter Galperin: Very perceptive Robert... Ive actually
introduced Bring Her Back as a lost classic
by Roy Orbison at some of my live shows. It is probably the most country
of these songs both in arrangement and lyrically. Theres some
slap echo on the lead vocal that adds to that Orbison effect, and
all of the songs have background vocals by my friend Sarah Aili, who
recently moved from New York to Nashville.
I didnt realize how sad that song was until I heard it fully
recorded. I do listen to some of the edgier contemporary country singers
like Eric Church, but at one point in my life I listened almost exclusively
to a lot of Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. Those kind of lost love
ballads really stick with you.
mwe3: Hate To Admit It is another long lost love
song. Its not an American kind of country song per se, instead
it sounds kind of French in a way, but the bridge has a kind of 1960s
British invasion kind of sound. I can almost see Marlene Dietrich
singing it as a torch song. Plus are there strings on the track too?
Do you like writing with strings or brass in mind?
Galperin: I think its those minor chords and vocal harmony
thirds that give Hate To Admit It a bit of a cabaret flare,
and the intro and bridge are straight out of the Moody Blues songbook.
Plus its in a fairly low vocal register so its a good
song for crooning. I do like the sound of strings and horns, probably
because as a kid I played violin in orchestras and chamber groups.
Ill let you in on a little secret of mine, Im really bad
at doing cover tunes. They never sound even close to the original
when I do them. Sometimes when Im writing an original song Ill
be learning a cover song at the same time, and certain elements of
that cover song will morph into my original. For Hate To Admit
It I was trying to write something in a similar style and sound
to Amy Winehouses You Know Im No Good. But
because Im so bad at emulating cover songs no one ever hears
the connections, and my original just comes out sounding a little
different... in a good way. French in this case!
mwe3: Angel Tonight gets back to your classic pop
sound and is one of your best tracks. I love the optimistic outlook
of the song. Is there a moral in the song?
Peter Galperin: Yeah, Angel Tonight is the first
single and it's actually available online as a free download at bandcamp.com
until the CD releases in late November. Once again our protagonist
is admitting that life can be tough and unfair at times, and although
he might not believe in God or a god, hes going to hedge his
bet just in case he needs some help at Heavens Gate.
Hes not an atheist, and hes probably not an agnostic but
hes not quite a believer either. Its very comforting to
think that someone/something is watching over you... its a basic
childlike instinct even if the reality is that you are completely
on your own in this world. On the other hand, it might just be a love
song about someone who comes into your life at a dark moment when
you needed them the most.
How are you planning to get the word out about the Just Might Get
It Right CD? Will there be a video for the CD? Do you prefer performance
videos or concept videos in this post-MTV music era?
Peter Galperin: Im going to try to develop a really well
done concept video for one or more of these songs. Id love to
partner with a filmmaker who would be interested in doing that with
me. The song Angel Tonight is actually the closing scene
in a play called Stacked that Im currently writing
about a songwriter/real estate agent who has to make some tough life
decisions for the sake of his soul.
On my last CD, A Disposable Life I created a lyric video for
the song What Are The Odds that got picked up by the International
UFO Museum website (outerplaces.com)
resulting in over 5000 youtube views to date. More of that kind of
video presentation is something that Im very interested in pursuing.
And Ill be pitching all of these songs to various TV/Film opportunities.
I had some success on my last CD in licensing Bubblewrap
to a reality TV show.
What about live shows? How can you improve the sound and vision of
the live in concert experience?
Peter Galperin: I consider myself mainly a songwriter, and
most of my live shows are acoustic, sometimes with one or two backup
musicians. For some gigs Ill put together a full band, but managing
and rehearsing a band is costly and time consuming and takes time
away from my song writing efforts, so thats really not my focus.
As much as I love all the possibilities in the studio recording process,
the true strength of a song is really apparent when you perform it
with just an acoustic guitar and a voice.
mwe3: Now that you have two full length CDs and this new 5
song CD EP in 2014, what directions are you planning to take your
music in next? How do you plan to grow as a composer and a singer-
songwriter and take it all to the next level?
Peter Galperin: Ive got another 14 songs demod
for the musical Bulldozer that Ive written about Robert
Moses. Im hoping it will eventually get produced. I may record
another group of 5 or 6 songs in Nashville, or maybe in another location
like New Orleans, Jamaica, or Brazil. That kind of musical anthropology,
what Paul Simon has been doing for years, is very intriguing to me.
I ended up recording Just Might Get It Right in Nashville at
The 515 because of people I had met in my life. I want to be open
and ready for more of that kind of musical serendipity. In terms of
licensing songs, building my song catalog is my priority so Im
writing new songs and trying to get better and better at it by always
striving for that old-time country song adage - three chords
and the truth.
Thanks to Peter Galperin @ www.PeterGalperin.com