It was a dream that inspired Island resident Dr. Peter Halperin to record his forthcoming album, Bring On The Storm.

Mr. Halperin, 72, has wanted to create an album since he began writing music at the age of 15, but after deciding to pursue a career in psychiatry, the time never seemed right.

In 2022, however, shortly after construction of his West Tisbury studio, he awoke from a dream at around 4 a.m. with the lyrics to a song in his head. 

Peter Halperin's CD release party is at the Grange Hall on May 5. — Ray Ewing

“So, I came in here and I wrote the song that’s on the album called The Man I Might Have Been,” Mr. Halperin said, while quoting the lyrics: “Today’s the day I throw caution away and sing my song from within, and be the man I might have been.” 

That line brought a clarity of purpose Mr. Halperin had long awaited. 

“It was so clear that I was at a point where I’m ready to be that person,” he said. 

Bring On The Storm may be Mr. Halperin’s first album, but it is the culmination of a lifetime of musical playing and passion. There will be a launch party and a live performance at the Grange Hall on May 5.

“My first memory is at like two years old playing a toy piano,” he said, during an interview at his Woodstove Studios building in West Tisbury.

Modulators and guitar cables crisscrossed the floor in evidence of musical creation. Though Mr. Halperin began with classical training, he soon became enamored of the rock and folk music of the 1960s and picked up the guitar. 

By the age of 17 he was playing regular gigs in Greenwich Village clubs, and returned there after finishing college. Eventually, however, he became disillusioned with the seedier, drug-addled elements of that scene, and decided to pursue a career in medicine. 

“That was the first of several times that I made a decision not to commit to music completely,” he said. 

Mr. Halperin’s psychiatry career included a focus on mitigating the negative effects that mental illnesses can have on the body. 

“Stress does everything you don’t want,” he said. “There’s been tons of research that shows it, for decades and decades, but very little attempt to actually make it a medical treatment because there’s no money behind it.” 

Much of Mr. Halperin’s career has been spent trying to fill that gap, working to incorporate psychiatric training and consultation into physical health programs. But he never left music behind. And he never stopped playing. 

When Mr. Halperin first visited the Vineyard on vacation in 1986, he said the local music scene immediately appealed to him.

“I fell in love with the Vineyard, like we all to,” he said. “I could see what the music scene was like and it was a huge draw.”

Mr. Halperin moved to the Vineyard fulltime in 1990 and began playing with the local musicians. Soon, however, his psychiatric work forced him to move back to the mainland.

Peter Halperin's guitars in his Woodstove Studios. — Ray Ewing

When Covid pandemic shifted him to remote work, Mr. Halperin returned to the Island, with plans to create a recording and performance space, which became Woodstove Studios. The space was conceived, he said, as an intimate performance space, and a way to experience live music outside of the bar scene. 

It was also a way for him to meet more local musicians. 

“I was really reintegrating totally into the scene,” he said. 

Mr. Halperin has since partnered with WMVY to broadcast the monthly musical performances he hosts there. It was through one of these shows, where he shared the stage with Delanie Pickering, that set the gears in motion for his album. 

Larry Mollin, a Vineyard resident impressed by the performance, put Mr. Halperin in touch with his brother, music producer Fred Mollin. The pair clicked, Mr. Halperin said, and eventually led to an album produced by Mr. Mollin and recorded in Nashville. 

“It was life changing,” Mr. Halperin said of recording the album with a group of experienced studio musicians. “I could just focus on my voice....It’s just letting the voice do what it needs to do to tell the story.”

The album, which features 13 bluesy, folksy tracks, has a major focus on storytelling, with Mr. Halperin describing the CD as “a booklet of lyric poetry that happens to include a fabulous record.”

On May 5, Mr. Halperin will celebrate the album’s release with a live performance at the Grange Hall, featuring local musicians Jeremy Berlin, Mike Benjamin, Taurus Biskis, Nancy Jephcote, Geordie Gude, Jim Orr and Wes Nagy. Audience members will receive a copy of the CD with the $20 price of admission. 

Though Mr. Halperin admits he has “no idea what happens after I do this,” he said he has been invigorated by performing with his new musical trio, Group Therapy.   

“It’s a way of reflecting that I’m finally letting the two parts of my life come together,” he said.

The performances also take some inspiration from his psychiatric career, he added.

“What’s happening in the room is an experience that would not exist without each other,” he said. “The best way to get [stress relief] is doing things you love to do.... The idea is, let’s come out of this feeling better than when we went in.”

The Bring On The Storm opening launch performance takes place on Sunday, May 5 starting at 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at