Three-time WAMMIE winner Mac Walter began his music career at 15 when Marianne Price, formerly of Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks/The Kinks, convinced him to give up the ukulele and try the guitar. Three months later, Mac was playing in Marianne’s band and he has not put the guitar down since. Music became the guiding force in a life spent as a professional musician.
In the 1960’s Mac developed his unique fingerstyle approach to playing folk, rock, blues, jazz, and country and taught students at the Charlie Byrd Studio in Bethesda, Maryland. Heavily influenced by folk luminaries such as Doc Watson, Mississippi John Hurt, Dave Van Ronk, Dick Rosmini, and especially by his guitar mentor, Raun MacKinnon Burnham, he totally dedicated himself to his music and refused to be pinned down to one musical genre.
Driven by an insatiable desire to learn all things about music, Mac attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He continued his studies with John Knowles, John Miller and Woody Mann. After his education, he returned to his home base of Maryland/Virginia/Washington DC and earned a reputation as a stellar guitarist and singer/songwriter. He hitched up with legendary 12-time WAMMIE winner and boogie woogie/jazz/blues icon Deanna Bogart for an 8-year ride during which they released three CDs on the Flying Fish, Blind Pig, and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville record labels and headlined jazz and blues festivals all over Europe and the USA including the Monterey Blues Festival.
While touring as an opening act with Johnny Winter, Mac earned the respect of all the tour musicians because he was the only guitarist they’d ever seen Johnny stand in the wings to see and Johnny told everyone he thought Mac was ‘a really great guitar player.’ Coming from one of his guitar idols, that meant a lot to Mac. Mac also played with other DC legends including Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan. Deanna nicknamed Mac ‘The Professor’ because of his guitar prowess and knowledge about off-the-wall things and to this day people still refer to him by that name.