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 ABOUT  Pete Garfinkel

Pete Garfinkel

Signed songwriter to Hillbilly Gold (ASCAP) multiplatinum awarded music publishing house Hillbilly Culture LLC, Nashville, TN.

Pete Garfinkel is no ordinary singer-songwriter.

Born in Denmark to parents working at a sub atomic particle research facility, Pete came to appreciate the value of a scientific approach to life at an early age.

Moving back to Indiana for Purdue University, Pete met his wife Karen who went on to become an internationally renowned plant pathologist with whom he shares his love for travel, adventure and music.

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A skilled guitarist, Pete formed and performed in Irish and “old-time” bands with Karen and the pair enjoyed music as a fun hobby to complement their globe-trotting lifestyle.

Over the years, Pete’s explorative spirit led him to try a variety of careers on for size including: worm farmer,  photography studio owner / professional photographer, volunteer fire fighter, and medical social worker.

It was his love for helping people that tied the common thread of his adventures and led him back to his lifelong appreciation to music.

Always dabbling in songwriting, Pete began to take his writing seriously while living in Kansas after joining the local songwriting chapter, eventually rising to co-coordinator of the Manhattan NSAI group.

But Pete wasn’t satisfied with merely writing for fun, and his passions were enflamed when he discovered an online community called Songpreneurs led by charismatic multi-platinum awarded songwriter and music publisher Amanda Colleen Williams (“Beer Run” and “She’s Tired of Boys” Garth Brooks).

A second-generation songwriter, daughter of Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame Member Kim Williams (“Three Wooden Crosses” and “Ain’t Going Down ‘Till the Sun Comes Up”), Williams encouraged Pete to pursue his songwriting in a structured, entrepreneurial way instead of just trying to write for the Top 40 commercial marketplace.

After years of mentorship and practice, Pete conceived of a way to combine his passions of helping others with songwriting into a service project called Songs of Substance™.

Songs of Substance™ draws on Pete’s experiences in the field as a medical social worker and takes the listener on a journey of what the world looks like through his eyes, a place of compassion, understanding and loving kindness where healing can happen.

So far, Pete has written a few hundred songs both for this project and just for fun, and has recorded his debut EP titled Songs of Substance Volume 1: Medicine or Food, which was released in 2019.

“I know I’m still developing as a singer-songwriter,” says Pete, “but these songs powerfully communicate the message of hope that is sorely missing in much of the world today.  If I can help connect people who are hurting to the resources available to them in their local communities, then that is my success – that's my award.”

The strength of the Songs of Substance™ is apparent. 

A young Texas new traditional artist named Taylor Lewis heard “Not for Glory” from Pete’s unreleased album and asked if he could record it as a Veteran’s Day tribute to his friends who serve in the military.

The song has already been performed at two veterans’ support organization events, and military dot com requested permission to show the song and video to their 10 million plus audience on their website.

Another of Pete’s cowrites titled “Blue Collar Bar” written with Taylor, Amanda, and Tim Seay for his Sober: Whiskey Memories album was released in 2018, as part of a service project for recovering drug and alcohol addicts.

Pete is currently preparing a series of talks that will be presented in conjunction with the Songs of Substance™ as an enrichment training for medical students, in addition to playing regionally in the Blues and Folk music circuits. 

He serves as the current Gainesville, Florida NSAI Chapter Coordinator, and spends time in Nashville working toward songwriting mastery, and building his commercial song catalog with mentor, publisher partner Hillbilly Gold Music Publishing (ASCAP).

Connect with Pete and learn more about Songs of Substance™ on his website at

Songs of Substance

 ABOUT  Songs of Substance

  • Songs of Substance™ is a service project of songwriter Pete Garfinkel

  • Songs rooted in his experience as a former home health and hospice care medical social worker and songwriting

  • Songs about healing, expressing tough feelings, and making connections

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