Have you read anything interesting this summer? If not, there’s still time to check out acoustic guitarist Pete Huttlinger’s new project, McGuire’s Landing. Packaged as a short novel with a CD, the collection presents the story of an Irish immigrant named McGuire and the challenges that go along with settling in a new, unexplored country.
One of my favorite sections — both musical and literary — is “Catch and Release,” which brightens the fast-paced narrative with a bit of levity. The chapter details the friendship that McGuire strikes up with an animated fellow named Artemus.
“McGuire is describing his love of fishing when he was back in Ireland and he carries that love with him to the great Western waters of the U.S.,” Huttlinger tells CMT Edge. “He is trying to lead Artemus into a more philosophical way of thinking about fishing.”
Because “Catch and Release” is a lively instrumental, though, Huttlinger had to rely on melody and tempo to tell the tale in the studio.
“The interplay between the instruments reminds me of the interplay when you are fly-fishing — between the fisherman trying to match the flies to what’s hatching, and the fish when they are rising and how it all comes to a head. Particularly in the section after the guitar solo where everything breaks down,” he says.
“When the flies are hatching on the water and the fish are rising, you don’t have much time to figure out which fly to choose to put on the end of your line. It can be a frantic moment. And in the tune, I tried to emulate that with a bit of controlled chaos.”
Read the first chapter of McGuire’s Landing, then get hooked on Pete Huttlinger’s “Catch and Release.”