The Song and the Process – Peace and Quiet by Kurt Gallagher

kurt yellowThe process of songwriting fascinates me and nothing beats listening to a really well crafted song. Mr. Kurt (Gallagher) is a singer/songwriter from New York who actually plays to kid/family audiences year round and makes a living at it. Over 20 years!  That in itself is really impressive as those who make a living as strictly kindie musicians are few and far between.  The fact he supports his family doing it is even more impressive. He has 6 CD’s finished and performs in a different place every day.  Schools, libraries, camps, etc… A very working musician.  I met Kurt at kindiefest a few years ago and we bonded over a few beers and have remained friends ever since. He also wrote one of my favorite songs. I featured it in Songs I Wish I had Written earlier this year.  Click the link to give it a read.  The song is titled Peace and Quiet on his 1,2,3,4 CD and what a great song it is. Kurt says that it was actually left over from his previous recording effort.  All he had at that time was the first two lyrics and a whole bunch of other songs he needed to complete.  Seems the previous album called kurtgallagher lets goLet’s Go was based on the idea of an older brother narrating about his “crazed” little sister. You know the sibling who’s always in perpetual motion and never stops moving. Biking, running, talking, playing with dolls, digging up gardens and always pestering her older brother. She’s THAT sister. Along with the sister he’s got a couple hyper pets as well demanding his attention. That’s one harried big brother!  Kurt took those lyrics and proceeded to finishes them. Then he added the music which is how he tends to write.  He writes lyrics and or he writes music.  Each one as a separate idea.  Then he tries to match the lyrics he’s written with the different music he’s recorded which is pretty cool.  So he writes the guitar part as a Chuck Berry slow Memphis Shuffle thing and uses the pre-chorus chord progression similar to Heatwave from Martha and the Vandellas  (the mans a walking music reference guide) for his chorus music.  Armed with those ideas he heads into the studio to record having sent the rough recordings to fellow band members to practice and bring new ideas.  Well his accountant/guitarist (can’t make this stuff up) comes up with another guitar part to drive the song which is what you hear on the recording with the Memphis riff in the background. Kurt calls it a Grateful Dead groove thing.  Now the tuba bass line… Yes the TUBA bass line (Dragging the Line, Tommy James) is brought in by the tuba player who had an idea and it so works. Until Kurt told me this I thought it was some kind of bass compression pedal. This all happens organically as the band grew with the song.   Then I had to ask about the counting and Kurt informed me that in his live shows he incorporates showing rhythm by using different counts in different languages.  It totally works here. Peace and Quiet is a great song that deserves to be heard by many.kurtgallagher8 Kurt is also working on putting out a new CD and looks to start recording a new batch of songs in the spring.He’s going to self-produce focusing on good writing and good guitar which is what the song Peace and Quiet has in abundance! Go have a listen and buy some of Mr Kurt’s work today. You can check out the words to the song below. Next week The Hipwaders!


My Little baby sister is out of control
She’s got a tiny little body and a big gigantic soul
She’s driving me crazy every night and every day
All she ever wants to do is run and jump and play
I never thought I’d want to try it
But I could really use some peace and quiet
1 and 2 and three and four and
1 and 2 and three and four and
My crazy kitty cat is drivin’ me up the wall
Trouble in the winter, spring, summer & fall
Jumping on the kitchen table and the counter top
only knows how to go, Doesn’t know how to stop
My little puppy dog is totally insane
Nothing but marbles rolling round my doggies’ brain
Runs around in circles when he wants to go outside
When he starts barking the house rocks from side to side

2 responses to “The Song and the Process – Peace and Quiet by Kurt Gallagher

  1. This was really fascinating! I love process and would love to hear you chatting with songwriters in a podcast format about exactly this, interspersed with clips of the sound to illustrate exactly what the bass tuba, Memphis shuffle lingo means for non-musicians. Really cool post, John.

  2. Thanks Jeff. Kurt is a virtual music dictionary. A podcast would be great, Don’t know if I’m ready for that.