Some of our favorite Fan letters:
"I LOVE your CD. Amy's voice is incredibly beautiful---familiar and mysterious at the same time."
Dear Al and Amy,
I am 50 years
old and have never written a “fan letter” before. But I am so
moved by the music of you both that I just wanted to write and tell you
I first heard of you when I was looking for music for my new Christmas
album and found “People Look East”, quite by accident. But I was
taken by it so much
that I found more of your music on iTunes to add to my
collection. And then came the National Geographic series on the
Nat’l Parks... and there you were again.
We are now bonafide fans.
We are from
California but recently took a trip to visit a client in West
Jefferson, NC; the rental car we’d gotten had an iPod-ready stereo and
it was wonderful
to play your music while driving in those spectacular Blue Ridge
Mountains. So fitting. And then, over the holidays, my
husband and I took our pop-up VW
van through northern Arizona for a spontaneous winter camping
trip. We brought thousands of songs on our iPod but nothing
seemed to fit the vibe and beauty
of the trip quite like your music and so we played it over nearly every
mile (save a detour to Jerome where only Mick Jagger would do the trick
J). One day, while
at the Grand Canyon in the midst of a huge snowstorm, we took a
glorious long walk in the deep, fresh snow along the South Rim with our
dog Lola and upon
our return to our half-buried, but warm and cozy van, Wolf made some
hot chocolate and opened the Al Petteway/Amy White playlist on the
iPod. As we sat
inside with mugs in hand, watching the snow, I saw that my dear husband was crying. All joy.
I am listening
to “Silver Branch” as I write this and notice there’s a lump in my
throat. Thank you for making your music available to saps like us. It
further beautify our world.
God bless you both.
Sylvia and Wolf
Al & Amy:
It seems that
some of the most powerful inner events of my life have been landmarked
by music. These experiences have a strange dichotomy about them.
In one sense they are entirely new and surprising and at the same time they evoke remembrances as old as any hill.
Such it was as I
listened to your cd’s yesterday. I was trying to work... But your
music drew me in. I was so intent on listening
to every nuance and phrase I could barely focus on the wood in front of
me. I’d have to press pause every time I needed to turn a machine on. I
surprised with melodies that intertwined cultures, and tones that
evoked memories beyond conscious reckoning. It took me on quite the
when I was 15 - I would stay up late into the night huddled under my
blankets with an earpiece plugged into a transistor radio ( so my
wouldn’t know I was still up) listening to something called The Folk
Show that originated in some station so far off that you could only get
it at night and only if it
wasn‘t cloudy. I discovered Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie and old Alan
Lomax recordings of Leadbelly - it would transport me from my life as a
farm boy and somehow connect me to the Great Wide World.
I remembered an
event a few years later when I was in the basement of a friend’s house
as we unwrapped a brand new copy of the brown Crosby, Stills and
Nash album and listened to it 6 times over.
I remembered a
rainy afternoon in Vancouver in 1980 when I first discovered Keith
Jarrett. I remembered going to my first Oregon concert. And strangely
I even found myself pondering a time in 1989 when I was in a Buddhist
monastery high up in the mountains of Japan - chanting along with the
monks at 4 in the
morning. I had a myriad of other remembrances too bizarre to describe.
This is what your music did to me - it gave me shivers and it gave me tears.
And I didn’t get much work done - but I sure had fun. It made me want to go practice.
So thank you and
thank Amy for your dedication and your joy - for your exuberant
exploration into the mystery of sound - and for your gift of music.
Hi Amy and Al,
Just wanted to
tell you that Kathy and I really enjoyed your performance last night at
Swallow Hill. It was AWESOME! You two have this interesting thing
on while on stage. While both incredibly talented musicians,
there is this very visible inner connection between you two. You both
play as if one. You compliment
each other so well. It was soo much fun!
was good to finally meet you! We've seen you guys play together in
several cities throughout the years. Kathy could not stop raving about
Even the people sitting behind us were saying Who were those guys? They were blown away!
thanks for coming out to Colorado again, we always enjoy seeing you
guys and listening to some truly incredible music! Take
care on the drive home,
Dennis and Kathy
First, let me
apologize to you both for not discovering you earlier. I just
bought the National Parks documentary by Ken Burns and immediately fell
in love with
Sligo Creek. I don’t think my HD28 will ever see standard tuning
again! So that meant I had to get your instructional DVDs from
Homespun….and now I am in
the process of picking up your other recordings. Being a piedmont
North Carolinian by birth and now in the NE, I miss the mountain music
so much and it is
indeed a musical highlight in my Scottish life to have discovered your music.
Dear Mr. Petteway,
When I was in
high school you and a group of musicians performed "A Scottish
Christmas" at my school. I was in stage crew at the time and you
all were kind
enough to give each of us a free CD. I received a copy of your
"Midsummer Moon." I was supposed to trade with a friend at some
point but I never did. I couldn't.
I took that
album with me to college. I played it nights when I couldn't
sleep. After college I took it with me to work at Fort Raleigh
National Park and played it often
in the visitor center. Then I took the album home with me and played it for my baby boy.
Very few albums
in my life have made such an indelible mark and been with me through so
many years of my life, linked to moments, years, in my memory and I
can recall every note.
What a beautiful gift you gave me that day, more than 10 years ago.
Dear Mr. Petteway and Ms. White,
First of all let me say what a huge fan I am of your music. I first saw Mr. Petteway on the homespun tapes and I was instantly
taken with the music. Then I attended a concert in Kingsport, TN a
couple of years ago. Mr. Gerald Shepperd introduced me to Mr. Petteway
before the concert
and i want to reiterate what I said then: Your music has truly been an
inspiration to me. I purchased your 'Acoustic Journey' CD at the
concert and from then on I
have endeavored to collect a library of all your music. You music
transports the listener mind, soul, and spirit into the world created
by the music. Just like the
track 6 in 'Bittersweet': "It touches my soul." You all are the the
Mozarts of acoustic guitar. Thank you for all you have done! I would
one day like to study under
Mr. Petteway at the Swannonoa Gathering.
Thank you once again for your inspiration from your "biggest 17 year old fan"!
Dear Al and Amy,
Your music can
tame the savage beast, child and teacher….. In my 2nd grade classroom
your music has inspired my students (and me) daily! They read, write,
work and dance to it. The students know to turn it on whenever they all agree to have the music on.
The last weeks
of school are nuts and this week one of the substitute teachers that
has subbed for me came rushing into my room in a panicked state...
“Mrs. White! Mrs. White! I need some of your music!” (She was
subbing in a class that is particularly needy.) I gave her my boom box
with ‘Land in the Sky’ in it.
Later I saw the teacher and kids in the hallway. They were all
beaming! “Thanks Mrs. White! That music was great!”
Moreover, the sub had a relieved look on
her face and was also thanking me for the magic music J… All was well again!
Al and Amy your music changes lives…
Let us know when you are in our area! (Md., Va.)
You both have touched my soul and my days!
While out in
Asheville several months ago, in the quest to possibly relocate, I was
turned on to your music by a local in Black Mountain.
You have fiiled
my days with song and enlightenment ever since. (And dozens of my
friends as well! Even my students work to your instruments!)
I have kept an open mind to avenues that would bring me to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the draw more than I am able to understand.
A plauseable window has not yet opened.
When I saw you were performing in Asheville just this past weekend, I actually cried with a longing to have been there.
Pray tell, you are performing again in December, over my holiday break!
I will be booking my trip shortly and sooo look forward to experiencing your music live!
I will be
visiting on my own with the additional hope I gain more insight as to
the pull I have been recieving from that part of the country. Having an
to come see you just feels right!
Thank for your gifts and blessings of peace to you and yours!
Dear Al and Amy,
I just have to
drop you a note and tell you how much I love your music. I
discovered you while I was playing around on i tunes one evening.
I have now
downloaded at least 5 or 6 of your cds!! I find your music just
such a great pleasure to listen to! Al your playing style is the
best I have ever heard. You have
such good variety within your style of playing. Amy, your
mandolin playing along with Al in the song, "Mariposa" is just
wonderful. The way your playing
compliments each other is just wonderful! So far that is my favorite
song of yours. And Amy, your singing in Lullaby is enough to
bring tears to ones eyes.
I am thoroughly enjoying you guys. Im glad I discovdered you, God
bless you. Id LOVE to hear you in person if you ever get up
Take good care of yourselves!
I just wanted to tell you how beautiful and inspiring your music is!!!
Your playing is so moving I can't tell you how it makes me feel.
"West Wind" is my favorite, I can't stop listening to it, and playing with it.
The open D tuning is awesome, just very nice to the ear.
I have played the guitar most of my life, and to be honest mostly in rock bands.
I studied with Joe Satriani in the mid eighties and always played electric, rock guitar.
But you have opened up a new world to me and I just wanted to say, "Thank you".
If you have any plans to perform in the San Fransisco area.
I would love to see you live.
Thanks for anything you can tell me, a new fan for life!
"It doesn't matter what Al pays he could make a coke bottle with strings sound great. " - Tony R.
"Your music is ear-candy to me (the healthy kind:o)"
“I pity the 6 million people who are not here tonight…” - Overheard at one of our concerts
I'm overwhelmed by your generosity! Thanks very much for sharing this music
with me. You are indeed one of only a few artists/instructors that I've run
across who is not only technically proficient and articulate but more
importantly humble! It is this soft-spoken humility that has nurtured and
encouraged confidence in myself to learn your music and strive to be a