Al & Amy Bio - The Duo
GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING GUITARIST -
INDIE AWARD-WINNING DUO
As heard on Ken Burns documentaries including:
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea
Baseball: The Tenth Inning
The Dust Bowl
Al & Amy have long been a favorite, with their eclectic repertoire that includes original, traditional, contemporary Celtic- and Appalachian-influenced music with occasional nods to Blues, New Age, and Jazz. Their performances feature acoustic guitar, mandolin, Celtic harp, piano, banjo, mountain dulcimer, and some of the finest vocals you'll hear in any genre.
Before moving from the Washington, DC area to the mountains of Western North Carolina, Al & Amy won several Governor's Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and a grand total of 50 WAMMIE Awards from the Washington Area Music Association including "Musician of the Year." Together, they won an Indie award for Gratitude, their album of original, groove-oriented instrumental guitar duets. Al went on to win a GRAMMY for his contribution to the album "Pink Guitar, The Music of Henry Mancini" and was voted one of the Top 50 Guitarists of all time by the readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine where he also won Silver and Bronze medals in the magazine’s “Players’ Choice Awards.”
Al & Amy’s music has been featured on a number of Ken Burns documentary films, most notably the soundtrack of the Ken Burns EMMY-winning documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. Their album, "Caledon Wood," (which includes the main theme of the National Parks documentary) was counted among the essential albums of the past 20 years in the Acoustic Guitar Magazine 20th anniversary issue. Al and Amy have released over 20 full-length recordings, and over a dozen instructional DVDs and books. They are visual artists as well, and their photography is represented by NatGeoCreative, the stock photo agency for the National Geographic Society.
After decades of instrumental composition, Amy's two most recent recordings feature her singing and songwriting, with Al contributing as co-producer and session guitarist. Both of her albums, Home Sweet Home: Songs of Love, Loss, and Belonging, and Didn't We Waltz reached the top ten on the FolkDJ radio charts nationwide and overseas. Al's recent solo projects feature his signature finger-style guitar playing with a wide variety of Country Blues, Celtic, Appalachian, and Jazz stylings. Al and Amy performances are always beautifully compelling. They are not only technically impressive, but are also heartwarming and brimming with magic, with each artist having the chance to shine and share.
Among many other pursuits, Al continues to record solo guitar albums and video samples for Dreamguitars.com as well as video lessons for Homespun Videos. He also coordinates “Guitar Week” for the world famous music camp, The Swannanoa Gathering.
You are welcome to follow Al & Amy on Facebook and YouTube. You can also sign up on their mailing list to be alerted to their new releases, upcoming concert dates, and more.
Available for Concerts, Multi-Media Performances, Workshops & Master Classes in Fingerstyle Guitar & Altered Tunings
"Besides having one of the most beautiful voices around, Amy White writes some of the most enchanting songs you'll ever hear. And teamed up with her Grammy award winning husband, guitarist and singer/songwriter Al Petteway, you've got one of the most captivating contemporary folk duos anywhere."
A Grammy Award winning recording artist and performer, Al Petteway has played nearly every type of popular, folk and classical music. Though his primary instrument has always been the guitar, he has also studied lute, string bass, percussion and music composition. His compositions for acoustic fingerstyle guitar are strongly influenced by his love of Celtic music and his own roots in folk, rock and blues. His recordings, music books, and instructional videos have helped to win him international acclaim and appearances on National Radio and Television Programs. Al's music has also been used in soundtracks for independent films including the Ken Burns' documentaries "Mark Twain", the Emmy Award winning "The National Parks - America's Greatest Idea" , "Baseball - The Tenth Inning," "The Dust Bowl," and most recently"The Roosevelts." Al was awarded FORTY FIVE"Wammies" by the Washington Area Music Association including the top honors of "ARTIST OF THE YEAR" and "MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR". He was the recipient of two Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards for Music Composition and has performed at the Vice President's House and The White House. His playing is featured on more than sixty recordings by some of the World's best known Folk and Celtic musicians. In 2005, he was voted one of the Top Fifty Acoustic Guitarists of all Time by the readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine and in 2008 he won Silver and Bronze medals in the magazine's Player's Choice Awards. His CD "Caledon Wood" was voted one of the "Essential Albums of the Past Twenty Years" in Acoustic Guitar Magazine's 20th anniversary issue and his 2012 release "It's Only the Blues" was included on two of the Acoustic Guitar Magazine's Editor's "Top Ten Essential Albums of 2012" lists. In 2014 and 2015, he released two more solo albums "Mountain Guitar" and "Dream Guitars, Vol. II." He performs solo and with his wife, Amy White. In addition to the numerous music camps, guitar festivals, concerts and workshops he works with, Al records and teaches private lessons in their home studio in Fairview, NC and is the Guitar Week coordinator for the world famous "Swannanoa Gathering" music camp at Warren Wilson College near Asheville, N.C.
"Possibly one of the greatest acoustic guitarists of my lifetime, Al possesses an innate talent for something I call “Melodic Prosidy”. Prosidy is what a songwriter may possess, having the ability to convey lyrics in a natural, conversational manner. James Taylor, for example, would be the king of such a thing, as musical lyrics go. Al has this same gift, but expresses it in melodic lines that seem to be comfortable and almost anticipated, even upon a first hearing. It’s incredibly unusual, and is something that permeates every Al Petteway recording I’ve ever heard. Fascinating."
Born to professional classical musicians and the youngest of three children, Amy was naturally steeped in several different genres and generations of music. Amy never learned to read sheet music despite her semi-classical upbringing. She composes and performs music solely by ear, and her work reflects a serendipitous combination of classical, folk, and jazz influences.
Amy won her first award for music composition at the age of eleven. Her debut recording, PIANO DIARIES: and other entries, received the 1996 Washington Area Music Award for Best New Age Recording, and two separate Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) grants for solo instrumental performance on piano (in 1996) and mandolin (in 1998.) Amy's second solo piano recording, BITTERSWEET: an American Romance, was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered with Noah Adams and received a third MSAC grant for Music Composition (in 2001.)
Amy now performs and records exclusively with her husband, Grammy-winning guitarist Al Petteway. Over the years, Amy’s instrumentation has broadened to include not only piano, mandolin and guitar, but also Celtic harp, mountain dulcimer, and vocals. (She's been known to play hand-whistle on occasion, as well.) Al & Amy have recorded 14 CDs together. They received an Indie Award for GRATITUDE, their album of original groove-oriented guitar duets, and a total of 50 awards from the Washington Area Music Association prior to their move to the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Al and Amy's work has been featured in several Ken Burns documentaries, including The National Parks, The Dust Bowl, and The Roosevelts. Although best known for their instrumental work, Amy has recently been exploring the world of songwriting. Her first album of original songs, HOME SWEET HOME: Songs of Love, Loss, and Belonging, was among the most played CDs, and the title track was one of the most played songs, on the Folk Music charts in the fall of 2012. She released her follow-up recording of original songs, DIDN'T WE WALTZ, in early 2016.
Amy is a multi-disciplinarian at heart, so music isn't her only love. (Life is too short to specialize.) Amy enjoys working in several different visual art forms including stone carving, block printing, silver casting, stained glass, photography, digital photomontage, and multi-media collage. Both Al and Amy's photographs are represented by The National Geographic Society's stock image collection, National Geographic Creative. Amy released her first full-color gift-book of photomontages, CAT ANGELS: The Secret Lives of Cats, in 2010.
When she's not creating art, Amy enjoys playing in the dirt, aka gardening. She also enjoys playing big brother to the bobcats and the black bears who live near her mountain home. Amy has gathered quite a collection of critter-cam footage over the years and routinely posts her favorite wildlife videos online.
P.O. Box 1093- Weaverville, NC 28730
Email: alandamy (at) mindspring dot com