2023 Release

A Murder of Songs

Buy the CD or the digital download at www.grantpeeples.bandcamp.com/album/a-murder-of-songs-2
Radio hosts and other media write to [email protected] for digital download and CD requests

Video links:
Brothers In Arms https://youtu.be/Vj7-7r4h8Kk
Revolutionary Reel https://youtu.be/sls_TgEqTHU
Dear Sadie https://youtu.be/-YMZN4ejDyI
Insurrection Song: January 6 https://youtu.be/o5OsvGLPfKo

A Murder of Songs
The 2023 release by Grant Peeples
For Sadie, because
“I fear there’s no one else who’ll tell you…”


Produced: by Danny Goddard, with Elisabeth Williamson
Executive producer: The Peeples Republik
Mixed: by Kris Kolp, with Danny Goddard, at Log Cabin Studio, Tallahassee
Engineered: by Kris Kolp, Lon Williamson, John Kelly and others
Mastered: by Steven Berson, Total Sonic Media, Austin
Crow painting: by Eileen Monaghan Whitaker
Photo of painting: by Inga Finch
Graphic designs: by Jay Payne
The players: Grant Peeples, Danny Goddard, Kelly Goddard, Brian Durham, Lis Williamson, Lon Williamson, Deb Berlinger, Avis Berry, Razi Rwito, Gurf Morlix, Mark Patton, Clyde Ramsay, Kris Kolp, Mike Lagasse, Lorna Simes, Erik Alvar, Aaron O’Rourke, Doug Stock, Landon Gay, Christian Ward, Scott Anderson, Cody Williford, Emmet Carlisle, Joseph Interrante, Vinnie Seplesky, Tracy Collins, Tim Lorsch, Will Barrow.


This album of songs was recorded in over ten different studios by dozens of musicians and engineers. It has taken over two years to complete. This is not how I ever dreamed of making a record, though I knew from the start it was how this one was going to have to get made—if it was going to get made at all.

Much of the tracking was done during the confines of the pandemic. Everybody was living in some kind of strange and awkward bubble. I knew that making a record in such an elongated and spread-about manner would mean the tones and textures would vary more widely from song to song than they would if everything was being recorded in the same place by the same people. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen—they never made records in this disparate way. And for reason.

The idea, though, was that if the thematic elements of the songs were interrelated, and if there was an artistic/creative center that linked them all, we could then make a record that sounded like all the tracks were cut from the same bolt of cloth. Credit Danny Goddard and Kris Kolp for understanding how to overcome the hurdles therein, and for fulfilling my vision, such as it was, for the album.  

Runtimes and Writers

Brothers in Arms – 4:07 M. Knopfler / ASCAP
This is the Good News ­­– 4:52 D. Goddard/BMI & G. Peeples/BMI
Revolutionary Reel! —2:17 G. Peeples/BMI
Dear Sadie – 3:44 G. Peeples/BMI
Insurrection Song (January 6)-2:29 G. Peeples/BMI. C. Williford
The Restless Ones—3:12 G. Peeples/BMI
Liberal with a Gun—3:27 G. Peeples/BMI
Elisabeth—3:14 G. Peeples/BMI
Let’s Start Killing Each Other-2:48 G. Peeples/BMI


Brothers in Arms

I’ve been smitten with this song since I first heard it in 1985. (It was “informed” by the Falkland War.) Years ago I took a run at it, and it just didn’t work. I could never really get my arms around it. But as the songs on this record started coming together, I revisited the idea trying to dis-cover it in such a way that I could transport it to an audience. I had been working on it for a few weeks, when I was at Log Cabin Studio working on another track. I asked Kris if I could do a quick demo. I thought I might have found a new approach to the song, and I just wanted to hear if anything was coming across when I played it in my simple little way. This involved, for the first time ever for me, playing an electric guitar. Sitting in a chair I played a Stratocaster and sang the song twice while Kris ran tape. It took ten minutes. It felt pretty good. I had NO inclination at the time that this would be a keeper track. I was just looking for sound and feel and nuance, to see if any of the nerves of the song were getting on the track. But as we listened back later, we thought: “maybe this is it.” And it was. Clyde Ramsay would eventually add a B3 track, and Avis Berry and her daughter Razi layered some vocalizations across parts of the arrangement. This was the first time they had ever worked together in studio.

Brothers in Arms by Mark Knopfler

These mist covered mountains are home now for me
But my home is in the lowlands, and always will be
Someday you’ll return to your valleys and your farms
And you’ll no longer burn to be brothers in arms
Through these fields of destruction, baptism of fire
I’ve witnessed your suffering as the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad, with all the fear and alarm
You did not desert me, my brothers in arms
There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
But all we have is this world
And still, we live in different ones
Now the sun’s gone to hell, and the moon is riding high
So, let me bid you farewell, my friends, every man, he has to die
But it’s written in the starlight and every line there in your palm
That we’re fools to make war on our brothers in arms

This is the Good News

About four years ago I handed-off to Danny Goddard some disconnected lyrics I had jotted down. He shook them out like a dusty blanket, and wrote a song. This track is a complete Goddard creation, (though he likes to say his approach on the guitar is a “direct rip-off” of our friend, the incomparable Frank Lindamood.) Danny plays every instrument on the song, including the guitar—which he made. He plays hand drums, and shakes the “custom organic steel cut oats shaker.” He also twists the knobs of a little electronic thingy called a Volca Modular Synth, which looks like it came out of the back room of an old Radio Shack store. Brian Durham added the background vocals. All of the tracking was done at Log Cabin Studio in Tallahassee, with Danny and Kris Kolp engineering. We started with Danny laying down the vocal track to give me some orientation. So, yes: there is a version of this song in the archives with Danny doing the lead vocal over the exact same music bed. One of these days…

This is the Good News by Danny Goddard, Grant Peeples

All the heads are talking ‘bout what’s going down
All the good folks know it don’t matter any how
Big boom on the morning news, orphaned by lunch
They got a new one coming down, call it a hunch
Anything is possible when nothing is for sure
Anyone can do these things, things never done before
This is the good news, this is the bad news
It’s a crime to live in peace, they got us in the dark
Is it a crime of consciousness, or a crime of the heart
You see the big man came to town, he’s gonna take a shot
Is he the villain that we need, or just the only one we’ve got?
Anything is possible when nothing is for sure
Anyone can do these things, things never done before
This is the good news, this is the bad news
Listen to the children, hear what the children say.
They’re crying out for peace and love, they’re crying for today
Might have to leave here soon – start a new old way.
We gotta make it out so it don’t catch up with us someday
Anything is possible when nothing is for sure
Anyone can do these things, things never done before
This is the good news, this is the bad news…
This is the bad news

Revolutionary Reel!

This song is something of a ditty, written in the spring of 2020—amid the flowering tumult of the George Floyd/Covid/neofascist milieu. The line “I’m not here to say I know what a dead man feels,” was lifted from a poem I wrote during this time, and was really where the song began for me. The first tracking began at Gatorbone Studio in Keystone Heights, with Lon and Lis Williamson playing bass and guitars, respectively. Scott Anderson is on banjo and his son-in-law, Christian Ward, added fiddle. The song then got shipped to Log Cabin Studio in Tallahassee, where Kelly Goddard sang the background vocals and Danny Goddard played washboard and the “custom quinoa shaker.” Regarding the title: they tell me this song is technically really not a reel. But I don’t really care.

Revolutionary Reel! By Grant Peeples

All gas, no brakes, people doing what it takes
In the streets a fever’s burning, I can feel the screw is turning
Though I’m not here to say I know what a dead man feels
Might be time to abandon caution, a little action instead of talking
Play a little revolutionary reel
Curfews and quarantines
Whoever thought we’d see these things
Rooftops are lined with marksmen
Seas have warmed, the sky has darkened
Though I’m not laying blame, I’m seeing a big reveal
Might be time to explore the options
Keep the good, toss out the rotten
And play a little revolutionary reel
Though I’m not here to say I know what a dead man feels
Might be time to abandon caution, a little action instead of talking
Play a little revolutionary, play a little revolutionary
Play a little revolutionary reel

Dear Sadie

Sadie is my great niece, and the sole remaining carrier of the Peeples name as it descends from her great-great grandfather, (my grandfather), Andrew Jackson Peeples. The song’s words actually began as a letter to Sadie. My plan was to have a friend deliver it to her after I was gone. But the words started to develop a melody and song structure in my head shortly after the salutation, (which ultimately became the song title.) The first tracking was live, just me and a guitar, at the now-closed Hideaway Studio in St. Pete, with John Kelly as the engineer. That session moved to Gatorbone Studio in Keystone FL, where the engineer, Lon Williamson, played baritone guitar, bass, and the guitar intro. Lis Williamson added background vocals and rhythm guitar. Michael Lagasse, who has played with me since I first got started in this music thing, added electric guitar, and Doug Stock put down the pedal steel. The track was mixed by Danny Goddard and Kris Kolp at Log Cabin Studio in Tallahassee. It seems to me that this might be the most complete song I have ever written.

Dear Sadie by Grant Peeples

Dear Sadie: I want to tell you ‘bout the family
Tallahassee and Mississippi, that’s the dirt that you come from
Your ancestors, they were rugged, hardy and strong-willed
They stole a continent from another people
And some are plundering it still
Dear Sadie: I fear there’s no one else to tell you:
That there are traitors in your bloodlines
Who took-up arms against our nation
They attacked the Constitution
And had their asses handed to them
Dear Sadie: this is the past we can’t forget
Aside from bird mess on some monument
Being white’s still fraught with privilege
I pray your eyes are never blinded to this truth
I hope your heart’s put to its fullest use
And that you grow-up to love others
As one would love one’s only brother, dear Sadie
There’s just two kinds of people in the world, little girl
But both of them are in you, the two are right there beside you
And you’ll become which of the two you choose to be you
Which is part of what I’d hoped to have the chance to teach you
That, and how to sharpen-up a word, sing a ringing Dylan verse
Read some Mary Oliver, play an E chord on guitar
I’d hoped to try, but I’m afraid we’ll miss that ride
Dear Sadie: I know now you’ll never know me
But one day you can ask your daddy
You can ask him what I stood for
And let him tell you what I stood for, dear Sadie

Insurrection Song

I started on this song shortly after the failed attempt on January 6, 2021, to overturn the election, bring down the government, and hang the country’s vice president. I was having trouble moving down the page with it all, so I called on my nephew Cody Williford to help me finish the song. The session was built at Gatorbone Studio, with Lon Williamson on bass, and Lis Williamson and Mike Lagasse on guitars. Mike, Lon and Emmet Carlisle added background vocals. Cody, too, sang on the chorus, but we tracked him at Winterstone Studio in Tallahassee. Tim Lorsch recorded the fiddle track at his studio in Nashville, and Will Barrow recorded the accordion in Nashville at Bobby’s Place. At Log Cabin Studio in Tallahassee, Danny Goddard laid down snare and washboard, and Kris Kolp blew harmonica. This version of the song is essentially a Log Cabin remix (with some added stuff, too,) of the version heard in the video of the song which was released in 2021.

Insurrection Song (January 6, 2021) by Grant Peeples and Cody Williford

Let us all remember the day in ‘21
The 6th of January when the deadly deed was done
Oh, they charged right up the hallowed steps and busted down the doors
They were shoving past and breaking glass and spittin’ on the floors
It was an insurrection, so patriots must stand.
And heed the call for justice and let leniency be damned
Cause freedom’s just another word for all we have to lose
Let the sonsabitches rot in jail for what they tried to do
A violent mob of QAnon, ProudBoys and Boogaloos
Just fascists, thugs and racists, a band of angry fools
They were chanting words of treason, waving flags that bore the name
Of the lyin’ lame-duck loser, the one who stoked the flame
It was an insurrection, so patriots must stand
And heed the call for justice and let leniency be damned
Cause freedom’s just another word for all we have to lose
Let the sonsabitches rot in jail for what they tried to do
So, when you hear their cry for unity while questioning the facts
Remember its bad faith and lies that led them to attack
On that darkened day in history let it not be forgot
That a coup’s a coup no matter who has planned the evil plot
It was an insurrection, so patriots must stand
And heed the call for justice and let leniency be damned
Cause freedom’s just another word for all we have to lose
Let the sonsabitches rot in jail for what they tried to do
Let the sonsabitches rot in jail what they tried to do

The Restless Ones

During the throws of the pandemic I hosted a twelve-part monthly television broadcast called Clay Tablets. I wrote this song, and first performed it, on that show. It is probably the most self-explanatory song on the record—an homage to the spirit and fortitude of those in my inner circle of friends. The first verse of the song is read by the Scottish poet, Lorna Simes, a recording she made on her phone in New Hampshire. The rest of the song was recorded at Log Cabin Studio in Tallahassee, with Deb Berlinger on percussion, Mark Patton on standup bass, Landon Gay on pedal steel, and Razi Rwito on background vocals.

The Restless Ones by Grant Peeples

I’ve always run with the restless ones
Those whose dreams won’t let um sleep at night
Misfits and wanderers, and wrestlers of Time;
Artists & rebels who will pick a fight
I keep um close, don’t let um slip away,
Cause they got ‘it’ and it’s the only thing
The only thing I ever count on, cause…
I’ve always run with the restless ones
They’re seldom burdened with regret and such:
Reckless and fearless, they live on the edge
At times they’re quick to take off their gloves,
They pay no mind to what the playbook says
They walk a highwire, and they walk it fast;
Riding waves they know won’t last
They’re way out there and well, we stay in touch,
I’ve always run with the restless ones
A word of caution ‘bout boundaries and such
Cause when they play, man, they play rough
Edgy and fidgety and wild at heart
They’re always working without a net
Going full-throttle, deep in the dark
They grind it out, and don’t ever quit
They write with fire, and they paint with blood but
To them it’s never quite enough
It’s craziness but it’s what I feed on
I’ve always run with the restless ones
Yes, I still run with the restless ones

Liberal with a Gun

This song was first recorded in 2007 on my inaugural record, “Down Here in the County,” which is mercifully out of print. With some elements of trepidation, and a moment or two of stark pause, I dusted it off fifteen years later. (I have a good friend, who’s a great musician, decline to play on this song because he was concerned about “message.”) The song seems to me, regrettably, to be more relevant now than it was fifteen years ago. In any case, drums and bass—by Joseph Interrante and Vinnie Seplesky—were recorded by John Kelly at the Hideaway Studio in St. Pete. The session then came to Log Cabin in Tallahassee where I sang the vocal track. Danny Goddard added electric guitar, as did Gurf Morlix from his studio in Austin, and Avis Berry and Razi Rwito sang background vocals.

Liberal with a Gun by Grant Peeples

I climbed up on the mountain to see what they’d done
They were waving flags and banging on their drums
Their sabers, they were rattling, jackboots on the march
They had venom in the eye and hatred in their heart
Their crosses, they were burning in the valley
The Truth, it was staring at the sun
I know they’re locked and loaded, but they ain’t the only ones
They better look though cause there’s liberals, and they too got guns

Well I feel a little edgy, got my patience running low
I took it for a while, but I ain’t gonna take no more
They been wanting the Almighty to do their dirty work
But when you play with fire somebody’s gonna get hurt
They wrapped their arms around the darkness
And look at all the evil what they done
You can weep and say a prayer, bout what the country has become
And leave the dirty work to liberals with guns

I got no name to protect, no credibility to lose
Ain’t afraid no more of what I just might do
We had a knee down on their necks, but I guess we kinda choked
No, it ain’t over till your brother counts the votes
Crosses, are now burning in the valley
The Truth, it is staring at the sun
No, it wasn’t without warning, now it’s officially begun
They better look out though, for liberals who still have guns
I know they’re locked and loaded, but they ain’t the only ones
I say, no, they ain’t the only ones


I wrote this song for my lifelong friend, Elisabeth Williamson, with whom I share a fluid philosophy about things in general, (and the music business and trying to live an authentic artistic life, in particular.) It is a love song from the soul. I wanted it to be as if her phone had rung, she had picked it up, and it was me on the other end. A version of the song can be found on my record, Okra and Ecclesiastes, which was recorded in Austin in 2011. But the track here is actually an older version than that, a demo recorded in 2010 at Log Cabin Studio shortly after the song was written. (I have often done this: get in a studio and record something in hopes of finding a way to move forward with a song.) The track was essentially lost and forgotten until Kris stumbled across it in his files as we started out on this project. It’s Aaron O’Rourke on dulcimer, me on guitar, Kelly Goddard and Brian Durham on background vocals, and probably Erik Alvar on bass.

Elisabeth by Grant Peeples

Well, life on life’s terms ain’t no helluva deal
Even with both hands on the wheel
It’s still a mighty rugged road we ride.
Though we might reinvent ourselves
We don’t really become someone else
And I’m here to tell you, tomorrow ain’t no place hide

Elisabeth, is it just the coffee talking?
As I struggle thru the fog of yet another brutal morning
I am wishing I was there, with you in your sacred garden
Sipping from that cup of wisdom that we have come to share
Anything we choose to sing can and will be used against us
Oh, it’s a heartbreaking business
And we keep both hands on the plow
Cause there won’t be no turning back
No shaving corners off these troubles
No lights in any tunnels and not a chance of digging out
Oh, Elisabeth, is it just the coffee talking?
As I struggle thru the fog of yet another brutal morning
I am wishing I was there with you in your sacred garden
Sipping from that cup of wisdom that we have come to share
Yeah, Elisabeth:
Oh, a restless sun is rising on a melancholy morning
And the dawn of indecision has found me calling for ya.
Elisabeth, is it just the coffee talking?
As I struggle thru the fog of yet another brutal morning
I am wishing I was there with you in your sacred garden
Sipping from that cup of wisdom that we have come to share
Sipping from this cup of wisdom that we have come to share

Let’s Start Killing Each Other

In 2019 I was a writer in residence in Beluthahatchee, Fl, at the home of the late activist and writer, Stetson Kennedy. (Stetson, a friend of Woody Guthrie, infiltrated the KKK in the 1950’s. There are photos of Woody at Beluthahatchee, taken when he came to visit Stetson.) This song was written during that residency. I see it as very much influenced by Woody, and the way he enjoyed injecting dark irony in his songs. (I submit Do Re Mi as an example.) I have enjoyed singing this song on stage and breathing in the ambivalent air that hovers at its conclusion, as it’s met with a tentative smattering of clapping. We did all the recording at Gatorbone studio. Lon Williamson plays rhythm guitar and bass, and the guitar intro. Tracy Collins is on piano, and Doug Stock is on pedal steel.

Let’s Start Killing Each Other by Grant Peeples

It was way back in 1975
When I first had some hope for our cultural divide
That’s when I saw hippies and rednecks dance side-by-side
At Willie Nelson’s Texan 4th of July
But in the last few years I’ve seen a troubling change
It’s like both sides now have just gone insane
Yea, everybody’s screaming and nobody’s listening
It seems to me like a timebomb’s ticking
Got your leftwing, rightwing, your black and white
Conservatives and Liberals just itching for a fight
When you know they’re wrong and they swear they’re right
You can bet there’s gonna be trouble
So, just whip out a switchblade, pull out a gun
Pistol whip some sumbitch just for fun
And don’t stop dealing till the dealing’s done.
Till we start killing each other
You know you’re wasting time, trying to pump the brakes
Winning never happens for those who hesitate
Gotta ask yourself if you got what it takes
To take aim at your brother
So get your axe handle ready, get your machete sharp
Brit bats, ice picks, and poison darts
It’ll be hard to stop once this stuff starts
Once we start killing each other
Don’t let the circle be unbroken, don’t let the sunshine in
Who gives a damn where all the flowers have gone
The answers aren’t blowing in the wind
So, don’t be afraid to take a stance
Let’s all be victims of circumstance
You gotta be willing to give killing a chance
Yeah, let’s start killing each other
Oh, let’s start killing, let’s start killing…
It looks to me like we’re about to start killing each other