Passings: Guitarist Pete Huttlinger (1961 - 2016)

Nashville based guitarist Pete Huttlinger died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Friday after suffering a stroke earlier in the week. He was 54.

John Oates paid tribute to Huttlinger saying:
On Friday January 15th our good friend and fellow guitarist Pete Huttlinger passed away. We performed live, recorded and hung out together for many years. Music lovers all over the world will remember him as one of the greatest finger style guitarists of all time and moreover, a wonderful, kind, fun loving and beautiful human being.
Huttlinger was born in Washington, DC with a bloodline of famous journalists including his grandfather who was editor of the San Francisco Call-Bulletin, reporting to William Randolph Hearst, and his father who was a White House correspondent.

Pete took up the guitar at the age of 14 and attended the Berklee College of Music for his advanced degree. He played on a number of projects before becoming the guitarist in John Denver's band from 1994 to 1997.

His studio work has included projects with Oates, Denver, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill, Jimmy Buffett and many others. In 1994, he released his first solo set, Catch & Release and, overall, he put out more than fifteen albums with the last being 2013's McGuire's Landing.

In 2000, Pete won the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship and has appeared at three of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festivals along with making three appearances at Carnegie Hall and he did it all while fighting nearly constant illness.

Huttlinger was born with a heart defect that saw him undergo procedures numerous times during his life without positive results. In 2010, he suffered a stroke that included paralysis but he valiantly fought back and was playing the guitar again within three weeks. The next year, he suffered heart failure that put him into the hospital for four months.

Along with his recording, Huttlinger released ten instructional videos and three books on the guitar along with a memoir written with his wife, Erin Morris, Joined at the Heart: A Story of Love, Guitars, Resilience and Marigolds. 

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