After a day of demanding music classes at Berklee College, Peter Huttlinger would grab a friend, rush to the Harvard Square subway station and spend the afternoon there playing music for tips. The two always came back with their pockets filled. For Huttlinger, this routine symbolized what has become his abiding outlook toward music: Perfect your art, but play to the crowd.
He has been a featured artist with the San Diego and Houston symphonies and is a favorite guest artist of the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. In 2000 Huttlinger won the title of National Fingerstyle Champion at the prestigious Walnut Valley Festival.
In the past five years, Huttlinger has stepped into the solo spotlight. He has just released his latest CD, The Santa Rita Connection. This newest collection is hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed Naked Pop CD. Ten of the 13 tracks on The Santa Rita Connection are original compositions. “I’ve been writing tunes since I was 14 years old,” says Huttlinger. Naked Pop was a way to introduce my playing to people using tunes that they were familiar and comfortable with, thus setting the stage for a CD of my own tunes.” The Santa Rita Connection does however include some classic covers, such as the blinding version of George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” Huttlinger’s mind-boggling arrangement of Steve Wonder’s “Superstition,” and a beautiful adaptation of the timeless “Sunny.”
Huttlinger refers to The Santa Rita Connection as “my best collection of fingerstyle performances ever.” He explains, “My playing has matured to a point where I feel really comfortable. I’m at a place where my technical chops and writing skills are all coming together.”
"Few guitarists achieve the kind of fingerstyle perfection Pete Huttlinger does on this outstanding solo effort. Whether he's flying through the complex changes he's devised for Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" or gently rhapsodizing on his own "McGuire's Landing" and "Goodbye Chester," he's in total command of his Collings OM1-A. With stunning arrangements of "Sunny" and Stevie Wonder's "Superstition," where he plays the bass line, horn parts and melody simultaneously without breaking a sweat, Huttlinger continues mining the rich vein of Top 40 Covers he began on 2002's Naked Pop. But he's also composed several great tunes, including "Hortensia," "Tommy in the Morning," (written for Tommy Emmanuel), and "Darcy's Guitar," one of the simplest and prettiest melodies in his repertoire. Titled after the "patron saint of impossible dreams" (according to the liner notes), The Santa Rita Connection is a dream to listen to." Jim Ohlschmidt, ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE
“…an amazing display of all-around fingerstyle mastery. Scary stuff.” GUITAR PLAYER
“…a powerhouse guitarist…Huttlinger manages to squeeze out full rock and soul and funk arrangements using just his six-string.” DIRTY LINEN
“Fingerpicking phenom Pete Huttlinger has succeeded in a big way. ..that player is a major talent.” VINTAGE GUITAR
“…the official ‘King Of The Fingerpickers’. Huttlinger’s prize winning performance was of his own warp speed composition, ‘Brown Bomber’ and his arrangement of Steely Dan’s ‘Josie’…an arrangement fit for a King.” FINGERSTYLE GUITAR
“Huttlinger is yet another gifted Nashville plucker whose artistic reach far exceeds Music Row. His new Naked Pop CD is an acoustic music maven’s dream.” NASHVILLE SCENE
“Huttlinger is the one to watch.” THE CITY PAPER
“A guitaristic force of nature.” ARTIE TRAUM, Producer
“The best rendition of ‘Josie’ since the original Steely Dan version. Good work, Pete.” ROGER NICHOLS, Grammy winning producer and engineer