Guitar master shares his struggles and achievements

To the average music fan Pete Huttlinger may not be a household name. But, he was in Bakersfield Sunday, sharing his music and story about overcoming adversity to working for the likes of Leann Rimes and John Denver.
BAKERSFIELD, CA-- To the average music fan Pete Huttlinger may not be a household name. But, he was in Bakersfield Sunday, sharing his music and story about overcoming adversity to working for the likes of Leann Rimes and John Denver.

It's the way his fingers strum the chords with precision and grace that makes Huttlinger a master of the guitar, though he would not put it that way.

"I'm not really that good I just work hard at it,” Huttlinger said.

He was invited by local businessman, Rick Kreiser, to perform and speak at American Sound Recordings in Bakersfield. It's part of an ongoing concert series called Guitar Masters.

"You don't have to be famous you just have to be very very good,” Kreiser said.

Huttlinger was born with a heart condition that limited his physical activity so he took up playing the banjo first then switched to guitar. He became so good he was crowned National Fingerstyle Champion in 2000.

He rose to be a sought after studio musician in Nashville and toured with Leann Rimes performing with her at Abbey Road Studios in London.

"Doing a show like that and it is just you on guitar and her singing, you really have to rise up a couple of notches," Huttlinger said.

His career came crashing to a halt when he suffered a stroke followed by surgery for a heart pump three years ago. Huttlinger turned to his music for comfort.

"The music has always been a form of solace for me,” Huttlinger said.

Huttlinger's heart pump surgery didn't stop him and he has a simple message to the audiences he performs in front of.

"Part of being human, you go through stuff. Might not be the same stuff I have been through. It's unique to you, painful at times but there is always another side to that and there can be great joy in getting through it."
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