Peter Gallway & The Real Band “It’s Deliberate” album cover. Photo and design by Annie Gallup

Peter Gallway has been making music since the 1970s, and with this month’s release of “It’s Deliberate,” his alt-folk and rock album with The Real Band, his discography inches closer to 30 albums.

Among them are several solo albums and seven under the name Hat Check Girl, his duo with his wife, Annie Gallup. Gallway has also produced over 50 albums and special projects, such as the Grammy-nominated “Bleecker Street: Greenwich Village in the ’60s” and “Time and Love: The Music of Laura Nyro.” Also among his production credits are albums by Maine band Devonsquare.

Gallway’s a native New Yorker who grew up in Greenwich Village. He moved to Maine in 1973 and hung around here for 15 years before moving to California. He and Gallup moved back to Maine, specifically Rockland, after the 2017 Thomas Fire nearly destroyed their home in Ojai.

Despite the difficult circumstances of their departure, the pair’s presence in Maine is a gigantic feather in the state’s cap when it comes to songwriting.

I haven’t done a proper deep dive into Gallway’s rich discography but can tell you that “It’s Deliberate” is an honest-to-god tremendous rock ‘n’ roll offering with grooves, mood and first-rate lyricism. Also, there’s a massive David Bowie reference in one of the tracks, which you had better believe I’ll get into here.

Peter Gallway and The Real Band have been playing together for decades, and its members include Mark Wainer on electric guitars, Andrea Re on backing vocals and percussion and Joseph Wainer on drums. Gallway sings and plays electric guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion.

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The title track opens the album with electric guitar licks and a thumping bass line. “Precious things scattered by your feet/My mother taught me thank you and please,” sings Gallway with a low but durable voice that reminds me of Lyle Lovett.

Then there’s the track “Good Trouble” with the lines: “A change is gonna come, we remember George Floyd/Crossing this bridge to the other side.” The song, an homage to late civil rights activist and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, is a hopeful, upbeat tune and a reminder of how critical anti-racism work is.

Peter Gallway & The Real Band. Photo by Annie Gallup

Now about Bowie. Because he’s my all-time favorite musician, when he’s mentioned anywhere, it makes me really happy. Gallway did this in a big way with the track “Not This Time.” Bursting with piano and guitars, Gallway’s nod is “No one can save us, least of all me/We can only turn and face the strange/That’s what Bowie said.” The song itself is about facing, rather than running away from, life’s hard stuff, in particular when it comes to relationships. Re’s backing vocals shine throughout the track.

I’m also all about “Like Mercury.” Some of the lines are repeated in spoken word form by Re, which adds a layer of intrigue to a tune that already has a mysterious feel. “I see it all, it’s on your face/A little danger/Your place or mine?/Like mercury, like burglary, I’m in motion, temperamental,  sometimes incidental,” sings Gallway.

Gallway said that the pandemic made him consider what he held most important and how best to move forward in life, and it was along those lines that he wrote the album’s 11 songs.

“I discovered characters finding their way and taking a stand, whether in love, romance and relationships, in choosing how to live and what it means to be free,” he said.

“It’s Deliberate” is available at Bull Moose and all digital outlets. Hear the songs live on Saturday night by going to the album release show in Portland.

Gallway wanted me to be sure to mention the show’s opener. Larry John McNally, a Maine native, has recorded several albums and has had his songs recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, Rod Stewart and many others.

Peter Gallway and The Real Band
7 p.m. Saturday. St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland, $18 in advance, $24 at the door. stlawrencearts.org


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