Full-time guitarist, singer, mandolin player from Phoenix, Arizona. I specialize in versatile, mobile live music.
Walt Pitts is a musical chameleon. He may not change color to match
his surroundings, but he has the impeccable ability to musically adapt
to the environment of practically any live performance space. It’s
this versatility that has kept Walt steadily booked at private clubs,
resorts, weddings, and corporate events in the Phoenix and Scottsdale,
Arizona, area for many years.
“I rarely use a prepared set list,” says Walt, whose primary
instruments are guitar, mandolin and voice. “I like to get a feel for
the venue and the audience and play what feels right in that moment.”
That ideal song might be Pat Metheny’s “Last Train Home” or Carlos
Santana’s “Europa.” It could be a standard like “Fly Me to the Moon”
or a party song such as Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville.”
Then again, Walt might decide that the best musical mood enhancer
would be a song by Ottmar Liebert, The Beatles, Tommy Emmanuel, Wes
Montgomery, George Benson, Eric Clapton, Cold Play, Norah Jones, Dave
Matthews, Sting, or Chet Atkins. Walt has a ready catalog of nearly
300 songs to choose from.
“My main goal when performing is to please the customer, which
includes the person who hired me and the patrons or guests they are
wanting to please,” Walt explains. “It’s not about me being in the
spotlight. My live music often serves as background music, and I’m
perfectly happy with that, because through my song choices and playing
styles I set the mood that allows everyone to enjoy themselves.”
Walt can play his instruments acoustically or amplified, as well as
stationary on a stage or strolling table to table through the room.
While he can comfortably play unaccompanied, he also has a solid
collection of backing tracks he produced himself to create the sound
of a full band.
Walt also uses what’s known as a “loop pedal.” This allows him to play
a rhythm section or instrumental riff that is repeated over and over.
He then plays lead or sings over the loop, giving him the fuller sound
of a two- or three-piece combo.
A Phoenix native, Walt spent a year in California in the 1980s to
attend the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. There he studied with
icons such as Joe Pass, Joe Diorio, Robben Ford, and Ron Eschete.
After returning to Phoenix, he attended Arizona State University where
he studied and taught jazz guitar under Chuck Marohnic.
“I love living in the Southwest United States, with its blend of
cultures and musical styles,” Walt says. “I’m sure that has colored my
interest in playing a variety of musical styles.”
Walt’s latest album titled “Keepin’ It Real In Lo-Fi” along with previous albums Live @
Constantino’s and Walt Pitts @ Home are now available at CD Baby and iTunes.