Luke Bryan, Ronnie Dunn + More Remember Iconic Studio Guitarist J.T. Corenflos
J.T. Corenflos was something of a riff master in country music. When he died on Saturday night (Oct. 24) in Nashville, after battling lung disease for several years, the many artists whose albums he touched took to social media to make sure their fans knew that a studio legend had played his final note.
Country music fans can find Corenflos' work on 75 No. 1 singles and across the catalogs of country artists such as Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, George Strait and more, plus rockers like Bob Seger and Sheryl Crow. In tribute, Bryan shared a compilation of songs Corenflos played on, singling out the signature riffs of hits including "Country Girl," "All My Friends Say," "Country Man" and "Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Everyday."
That's just a sample of the 56-year-old's dynamic catalog. Ronnie Dunn recalls that Corenflos added to famous Brooks & Dunn songs including "Play Something Country" (he played the opening riff), and Ned LeDoux remembers how he and his late father, Chris LeDoux, both were fortunate enough to work with one-time ACM Guitarist of the Year.
"He was a humble, patient and kind man," Dunn writes. "He will be missed."
Chris Janson says Corenflos bought him a pair of boots when he couldn't afford a pair many years ago, tributing his friend on Twitter. It was Bryan who gave the most personal and lengthy tribute, however, making clear his career might not be where it is today if not for some of these famous riffs.
"He was a soft-spoken genius that let his fingers do all the talking," Bryan writes. "He has played on countless records of mine and many times turned a good song into something unique and special."
Corenflos' hometown paper, the Terre Haute Tribute-Star, was among the outlets reporting the news of his death, which his girlfriend, Annabeth Robinson, confirmed. The article reveals that he cut some guitar parts on Sept. 30, wanting to play until the very end.
Bryan alludes to some long-term health issues in his tweet — something Robinson confirmed to the newspaper. Corenflos was hospitalized with pneumonia in September, but went home, only to return a few weeks later. He’s also survived by a son named Jacob, two siblings and extended family.