If you think Sisyphus had a raw deal, doomed as he was forever to roll that stone up the mountain only to see it roll back down each time he reached the top, imagine how much tougher it would have been if he’d had a bad heart.
Award-winning guitarist Pete Huttlinger has taken his music to the top of the mountain time and time again—from touring the world with John Denver to playing Carnegie Hall—only to be tripped up by his congenitally damaged heart and made to start the journey all over.
That Pete still plays like a champion—and still tours—is principally attributable to three factors: his unflagging spirit (some might call it a “stout heart”), dramatic advances in heart-assistance technology and the Olympian support of his wife, Erin, who simply will not let him doubt his own resilience, succumb to despair or (as he observes) stop working. She has been the cheerleading, guitar-carrying Mrs. Sisyphus on all his toughest climbs.
Joined At The Heart is structured around two catastrophic medical events in Pete’s life: the massive stroke in 2010 that came close to paralyzing or killing him, and the rapidly failing heart that sent him to the Texas Heart Institute in Houston for the entire summer of 2011. Told by Pete and Erin from alternating perspectives, this triumphant narrative is dramatic, inspiring and—against all odds—surprisingly funny. The best love stories always are. And this is one of the best. John Oates (of Hall & Oates) has written a touching introduction. Purchase of the book includes a free MP3 download of one of Pete's original tunes, "Things Are Looking Up."
Pete Huttlinger is one of the world’s most awe-inspiring acoustic guitar players. His imaginative arrangements, spellbinding musicality and riotous sense of humor have dazzled audiences from Los Angeles to Milan, both in his role as a solo artist and as lead guitarist for such headliners as John Denver, John Oates (of Hall & Oates) and LeAnn Rimes. He has played Carnegie Hall and Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival three times each. He’s also recorded and produced more than a dozen albums.
Erin Morris Huttlinger, Pete’s wife, is a veteran publicist and artist-development specialist. At RCA Records, she enhanced and spotlighted the careers of Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Alabama, Waylon Jennings, The Judds, Roy Rogers and Keith Whitley, among others. As an independent publicist, she has helmed publicity campaigns for such stars as Vince Gill, LeAnn Rimes, Ralph Stanley, Martina McBride, Merle Haggard, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner and The Time Jumpers.
In addition to Pete’s concert tours, he and Erin also make speaking appearances that chronicle their triumphs over Pete’s seemingly insurmountable medical problems to enable him to continue performing. It’s called “Things Are Looking Up.”
Joined At The Heart is available here: