‘The Man I Might Have Been’

Peter Halperin celebrates the release of his album, “Bring on the Storm.”


On Sunday, May 5, from 5 to 7:30 pm at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury, Island musician and Woodstove Studios (woodstovestudios.com) founder Peter Halperin will celebrate the release of his first album, “Bring on the Storm.” And the celebration will include a concert.

“Bring on the Storm” contains 13 songs Halperin wrote between 1970 and 2023, and one of the earliest songs, “Going to See My Baby,” just received a Judge’s Choice award at this year’s New England Songwriting competition. The album was produced by longtime Vineyard lover Fred Mollin, and recorded in Nashville with a stellar group of Nashville musicians.

Halperin waited more than 50 years to be able to throw this release party. “Creating this album was the experience of my lifetime,” Halperin shared. “It all started last summer, when I met the amazing music producer Fred Mollin. Mollin has worked with artists like Glen Campbell, Jimmy Webb, Jackson Browne, and so many other amazing musicians.”

Halperin met Fred through writer Larry Mollin, Fred’s brother. The Mollin brothers are a talented duo. Larry wrote for primetime television for more than 30 years, including popular shows “ChiPs” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.” He is also a published poet, rock ’n’ roll lyricist, and playwright whose work has been produced in London, New York, and in summer stock on Cape Cod.

“I know Larry,” Halperin said. “He offered to share some of my music with Fred, but couldn’t guarantee he’d respond. You can imagine how inundated he is by musicians trying to get their music to him. I have a song called ‘Our Vineyard Home,’ which is a jazz ballad about the Island. I did a demo, and sent it to Fred. He really liked it, and we started to talk.” In total, Halperin wound up sending Mollin demos of about 30 songs: “We were very much in agreement on the vast majority of the songs, and we wound up picking 13 for the album.”

Halperin recorded “Bring on the Storm” at the Sound Emporium Studio in Nashville. According to its website, soundemporiumstudios.com, the story of Sound Emporium began when musician “Cowboy” Jack Clement moved to Nashville. He was already a huge success, producing artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Charlie Rich. Over the years, Sound Emporium Studio has continued to attract artists like Trisha Yearwood, Yo-Yo Ma, Delbert McClinton, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Taylor Swift, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, and many more.

“This was such an amazing experience for me,” Halperin said. “Being in the great Sound Emporium Studio, and working with the Wrecking Crew — the best studio musicians in Nashville — was incredible. These musicians were beyond belief. Because they were so great, I could just concentrate on singing.” Haplerin was in Nashville for two weeks. “People adored this album, including these top cat musicians. It was kind of amazing,” he said.

Halperin is a bit of a top cat musician himself. He’s been writing music, singing, and playing the piano and guitar since early childhood. During the 1970s, he performed at prominent folk clubs in Greenwich Village, opened for Randy Newman and many other notables, and played keyboard in a well-known NYC country/world band, Trouble. So why didn’t he try to cut an album earlier?

“This was the right time. It’s a personal thing,” he said. “Throughout my life, teaching took center stage. I always felt a sense of not doing as much with music as I wanted. I dreamt the song ‘The Man I Might Have Been’ one night, and wrote it the next morning. I knew something had changed, and I was ready. If I hadn’t been psychologically in the right place, the situation with Fred wouldn’t have happened.”

Timing is everything, they say, and Halperin is ready to share his lifelong dream come true with the Vineyard community. “We’ll meet at 5 pm, chat, listen to the CD, and have light refreshments,” he said. “At 6 pm, Group Therapy, a band of equally amazing Island musicians, will perform the entirety of ‘Bring on the Storm.’” Halperin will be on lead vocals and guitar, Jeremy Berlin on piano, Taurus Biskis on drums, Mike Benjamin on lead guitar, Nancy Jephcote on fiddle and vocals, Jim Orr on bass and vocals, Wes Nagy on organ, and Geordie Gude on harmonica.

Tickets are $20, and come with a CD at the door. There’s a booklet of lyrics to help take the songs in. Get your tickets at the door, or at bit.ly/WS_BringOnTheStorm. To check out “Bring on the Storm,” go to woodstovestudios.com/recordings to purchase a track.