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Pete Huttlinger (June 22, 1961 – January 15, 2016) was an American guitarist. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Huttlinger was a Nashville studio artist. In 2000, he won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. He performed around the world with such artists as John Denver, LeAnn Rimes and many others. As a solo artist he performed across the U.S. and Europe.
Born in Washington, D.C., Huttlinger descended from two lines of prominent journalists. His grandfather on his mother’s side, Fred Walker, was an editor of the San Francisco Call-Bulletin, reporting directly to its owner and publisher, William Randolph Hearst. Huttlinger’s father, Joseph, was a White House correspondent and a publisher of his own newsletter on the oil industry. "My dad took my mom to the White House on their first date," Huttlinger says, "and while they were walking around, President Truman came out and said, ‘Hi, Joe.’ That got Mom’s attention.”
By the age of 12, Huttlinger had begun music lessons and by 14 he had settled on the guitar. Soon after he graduated from high school, a relative left him a small inheritance. He decided to use this windfall to study at Berklee College of Music.
During the early 1990’s, guitarist John Denver’s tour manager and producer Kris O’Connor heard Huttlinger on another project and recommended him to join Denver's band. Huttlinger toured, recorded and performed on television with Denver from 1994 until the singer’s death in 1997.
Huttlinger had performed on numerous Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated projects. He had also been nominated for an Emmy for music he both composed and performed for a PBS special. His performances had been used in several national TV series, including the PBS Nature special "Let This Be A Voice." He created the theme song for ESPN’s Flyfishing America, a program on which he had made guest appearances.
As a recording artist Huttlinger released numerous albums and received wide-acceptance ranging from his critically acclaimed Naked Pop to Things Are Looking Up. In 2009 (on Instar Records) Huttlinger released Fingerpicking Wonder: The Music of Stevie Wonder. His most current release (2013) "McGuire's Landing" was a CD plus a short story that was written by Huttlinger.
In 2007, Huttlinger made his debut at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. He was invited back in 2008 and made his first appearance there as a solo artist. He performed again at Carnegie Hall on January 9, 2010.
In 2004 and 2007, he was invited to participate in both of Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festivals. Huttlinger also made appearances as a side-man. He toured with John Denver for many years and appears with Country/Pop superstar LeAnn Rimes, including the BBC Television’s “Live From Abbey Road,” a series taped at the famous London studios, and ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”
In November 2010, Huttlinger suffered a stroke, paralyzing his right side and making him lose the ability to speak. Despite his recovery, Huttlinger eventually suffered end-stage heart failure, the result of congenital cardiac abnormalities. He was airlifted to the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, where he was outfitted with a heart pump known as a VAD (Ventricular Assist Device) and spent the next four months in the hospital recovering.
In 2013 he released the long-awaited McGuire's Landing Project during a house concert on his birthday in Baltimore, Maryland. He was a regularly featured performer with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and had appeared with a number of other symphonies.
Huttlinger suffered a stroke on January 11, 2016, and died four days later at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center at the age of 54. He resided in Nashville, Tennessee. He was married to Erin Morris-Huttlinger.
- Catch & Release (Instar Records, 1994)
- Naked Pop (Favored Nations, 2002)
- Hymns for Guitar (Instar, 2005)
- Two Friends Two Guitars - Some John Denver Favorites (Instar, 2005)
- The Santa Rita Connection (Instar, 2006)
- Things Are Looking Up (Instar, 2007)
- First Light - A Pete Huttlinger Christmas (Instar, 2007)
- Fingerpicking Wonder: The Music of Stevie Wonder (Instar, 2009)
- The Peter Huttlinger Collection Volume 1 (2004, Instar, ISBN 978-7-7700-3938-6)
- Hymns for Guitar (2005, Instar, ISBN 978-7-7700-4702-2)
- First Light - A Pete Huttlinger Christmas Songbook (2008, Instar, ISBN 978-7-7745-5967-5)
- The Peter Huttlinger Collection Volume 2
- Joined at the Heart
- Learn To Play the Songs of John Denver (2001, Homespun)
- Arrangements For Solo Acoustic Guitar (2003, Homespun)
- A Guitarist's Guide To Better Practicing (2003, Homespun)
- Essential Exercises for Fingerstyle Guitar (2004, Homespun)
- Arrangements For Solo Acoustic Guitar No. 2 (2006, Homespun)
- Learn to Play the Songs of Jim Croce (2006, Homespun)
- Pete Huttlinger's Wonderful World of Chords (2008, Homespun)
- Pete Huttlinger Teaches The Songs Of Gordon Lightfoot (2008, Homespun)
- Learn to Play the Songs of Dan Fogelberg DVD ONE (2010, Homespun)
- Learn to Play the Songs of Dan Fogelberg DVD TWO (Homespun)
- The Lone Arranger (2010, Truefire)
- 50 Fingerpicking Licks You MUST Know (2014, Truefire)
- "Pete Huttlinger". Lawrence Journal-World. December 12, 2007. p. 15. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- "The JD Family Tree". AspenTimes.com. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "Master guitarist Pete Huttlinger dies at 54". Tennessean.com. 2016-01-15. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "News - Pete Huttlinger Has Passed Away". Fingerstyleguitarists.com. 2016-01-16. Retrieved 2016-02-01.