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
Award-winning, critically acclaimed, passionate and playful, Al & Amy offer an intoxicating blend of musical styles. Their repertoire includes original, traditional, contemporary Celtic- and Appalachian-influenced music with occasional nods to rock and jazz. Their performances feature acoustic guitar, mandolin, Celtic harp, piano, banjo, lap dulcimer, world percussion, and a touch of vocals.
Before moving from the Washington, DC area to the mountains of Western North Carolina, Al & Amy won 50 WAMMIE Awards from the Washington Area Music Association. In addition, they were awarded 5 separate grants from the Maryland State Arts Council for both music composition and instrumental performance. They won an INDIE from The Association for Independent Music, and Al won a GRAMMY from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Al was voted one of the Top 50 Guitarists of all time by the readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine and in 2008 he won Silver and Bronze medals in the magazine’s “Players’ Choice Awards.”
Al & Amy’s music was featured throughout the soundtrack of the 2009 Ken Burns EMMY-winning documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. And in 2010, 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 & Amy enjoy living in their mountain aerie at 4300 feet elevation, with stunning long-range views and wildlife as constant inspiration. This mountain-top setting has greatly influenced their recent musical works, and has also spurred their return to photography. Both Al & Amy’s photographs are represented by The National Geographic Society’s Image Collection, where Al worked as an image editor for 18 years. In addition to concerts and workshops, Al & Amy now also offer winter-themed and 4-season multi-media shows which feature live music performed against a backdrop of nature photography.
Among many other pursuits, Al continues to teach private lessons and record video lessons for Homespun Videos. He also coordinates “Guitar Week” for the world famous music camp, The Swannanoa Gathering. And in early 2010, Amy launched Cat Angel Press which released its first full-color gift-book, Cat Angels: The Secret Lives of Cats. There are more angels and books to come.
"High in the Blue Ridge," Al & Amy’s recording of Appalachian- and Celtic-inspired melodies, was released in early 2011. And they each released solo CDs in 2012. Al's is a solo acoustic project featuring Fingerstyle Blues titled "It's Only the Blues" and Amy's features her original songs and is titled "Home, Sweet Home."
Due to high demand, the duo is planning a DVD of nature photography and original music as a companion to their popular multi-media shows. In the meantime, 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 Ken Burns' documentaries on "Mark Twain" and most recently, the Emmy Award winning "The National Parks - America's Greatest Idea" , "Baseball - The Tenth Inning," "The Dust Bowl," and "The Roosevelts." Al has been 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. He performs exclusively with his wife, Amy White. In addition to his concerts and workshops, 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."
Amy White was born to professional classical musicians and is the youngest of three children. As a result, she was nurtured and surrounded by several genres and generations of music. Despite this semi-classical upbringing, Amy never mastered sight reading and composes and plays music solely by ear. She has a unique approach to composition and her work reflects this serendipitous combination of classical, jazz, folk, world and environmental influences. Amy won her first award for music composition at the age of eleven. Her debut release, PIANO DIARIES, garnered 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 (1996) and mandolin (1998.) Amy's last solo piano recording, BITTERSWEET, AN AMERICAN ROMANCE was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered with Noah Adams. Amy received a third MSAC grant in Music Composition (2001) for her work on this 2nd piano CD, as well as for her compositions on guitar. Amy now performs and records exclusively with her husband, Al Petteway. Over the years, Amy’s instrumentation has broadened to include not only piano, mandolin and guitar, but now features vocals, percussion, Celtic Harp, and Mountain Dulcimer. Together, Al & Amy have recorded over 14 CDs, received an Indie Award as well as 50 awards from the Washington Area Music Association prior to their move to the mountains of Western North Carolina. When she's not playing music, Amy is passionately devoted to other creative endeavors. When the mice are kind enough to share the garage studio, Amy continues to enjoy stone carving, stained glass, silver casting, block printing, mosaics and 3-D multi-media collage. The rest of the time, which is most of the time, Amy concentrates on graphic arts, digital photography and the art of digital photomontage. Amy’s first full-color book of photomontages, CAT ANGELS: the Secret Lives of Cats will be released in early 2010. Life is too short to specialize!
P.O. Box 1093- Weaverville, NC 28730
Email: alandamy (at) mindspring dot com