Beginning in the early '90s, guitarist Pete Huttlinger carved out a respectable career as a Nashville session musician, sideman, instructor, and solo artist. Huttlinger was the touring guitarist for John Denver during the singer's final years before turning his focus to music education and releasing numerous solo guitar albums which emphasized his versatility across many genres. Following a stroke in 2010, he rallied to record several more albums and complete a memoir before a second stroke took his life in early 2016. A native of Washington, D.C., Huttlinger began playing the guitar in his early teens. Shortly after high school, he received a small inheritance from a relative which he used to pursue his passion for guitar, studying music and theory at Boston's Berklee College of Music. After relocating to Nashville, he became active as a session musician and was asked to join John Denver's band after Denver's touring manager, Kris O'Connor, heard him play on another project. He remained with Denver until the singer's death in 1997. Soon after, he began to shift his focus from full-time session work to making a series of instructional guitar videos and recording his own solo guitar albums. Beginning with 2002's Naked Pop, an instrumental collection of his take on pop hits, Huttlinger went on to record a variety of different guitar-based albums in different genres from pop to jazz to folk and Celtic. In 2010, Huttlinger suffered a near-fatal stroke and miraculously fought his way back over the coming years to write and record his 2013 album, McGuire's Landing. In 2015, he collaborated with his wife, Erin Morris Huttlinger, to publish the memoir, Joined at the Heart, which explored not only his music career, but the couple's journey together following his stroke. That same year, he and fellow John Denver band alum, Mollie Weaver, formed a duo called Parnassus and released a pair of albums, including the holiday set Christmas Time. Sadly, this would prove to be Huttlinger's final recording as he fell victim to a second stroke a few months later. He died in Nashville on January 15, 2016 at the age of 54.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo
© Timothy Monger /TiVo
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