Al Petteway

              Grammy and Indie Award-Winning Fingerstyle Guitarist
             Contemporary, Celtic, Appalachian and Blues with a Groove

          Al Petteway playing his RainSong signature model guitar at the Kittredge Theatre of Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC
                                                                                               - Photo by R.L. Geyer


                        Al Petteway Short Bio:
                        Al Petteway is a Grammy & Indie Award Winner, best known for his
                        lyrical and powerful fingerstyle acoustic guitar playing heard on dozens of
                        recordings, instructional videos, and film soundtracks, including several PBS
                        documentaries by Ken Burns, most notably the Emmy-winning film “The
                        National Parks-America's Best idea.” Al's compositions are strongly
                        influenced by the Celtic, Folk, Rock and Blues styles he has performed in the
                        studio and on stage with many of the best-known artists in those genres. He
                        was voted one of the “Top Fifty Acoustic Guitarists of All Time” by the
                        readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine and for twenty three years, he was
                        coordinator for the Guitar Week program of The Swannanoa Gathering summer
                        music camp near Asheville, NC. Al lives high in the mountains with his wife
                        and musical partner Amy White along with an a endlessly entertaining
                        variety of domestic and wild critters.

                        Downloadable Promotional Photo:

Longer Bio:

Al Petteway
is a Grammy-Winning guitarist who has played nearly every type of popular, folk and classical music - as a soloist,
as part of an ensemble, and as an onstage accompanist. He established a reputation as a world-class sideman by playing and recording with Jethro Burns, Peter Rowan, Tom Paxton, Jonathan Edwards, Cheryl Wheeler, Debi Smith, David Wilcox, Maggie Sansone, Bonnie Rideout and many more. Though his primary instrument has always been the guitar, he 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.  He performs as a solo guitarist and with his wife Amy White as a duo, playing original and traditional music on acoustic instruments including guitar, banjo, mandolin, harp, piano, and percussion.

While living in the Washington, D.C. area, 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 also the recipient of two Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards for Music Composition.  Al performed at the Vice President's House and The White House during the Clinton administration. He and his wife, Amy White were Artists in Residence at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and Warren Wilson College where he has been the Guitar Week coordinator for the world famous "Swannanoa Gathering" music camp for over twenty years.   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.  Al's CD "Caledon Wood" was included as one of the "Essential Albums of the past Twenty Years" in Acoustic Guitar's 20th Anniversary issue and his album "It's Only the Blues" was selected as one of the top ten "Essential Acoustic Albums of 2012."  His newest albums are "Mountain Guitar" and "Dream Guitars, Vol II."

Al's Dream Guitars videos, his numerous recordings, music books, and instructional videos, have helped win him international acclaim and appearances on National Radio and Television Programs. His music has been featured in a number of films and documentaries including six documentaries by Ken Burns.  His original composition "Sligo Creek" was used as the theme for the Emmy-Winning PBS series "The National Parks-America's Best Idea." In 2013 he was given the title of "Master Music Maker" by The Swannanoa Gathering and Warren Wilson College. In 2018, he was voted among the top ten guitar camp  instructors by the readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine.

In addition to performing solo and with Amy, Al teaches workshops across the country and records and teaches private lessons in his and Amy's home studio Fairewood Studios, near Asheville, NC.

"Contemporary instrumental music can be played with self-discipline rather than self-indulgence, with real melodies rather than vague moods, and with roots that are respected rather than diluted. Artists such as Michael Hedges and Alex de Grassi have proven as much in the past, and Al Petteway & Amy White, prove it again"> - THE WASHINGTON POST

"Never showy for the sake of showiness, Petteway is nevertheless an understated master
on six strings, his playing characterized by crystalline notes, warm tone, and crisp articulation."

"An innovative instrumentalist known for his open tunings, Petteway offers a rich, dulcet sound that features a fusion of old and new." - THE BOSTON GLOBE

"Al Petteway is quickly building a catalogue of some of the most beautiful instrumental guitar work ever recorded."- JAMES JENSEN

"His articulate flawless fingering and lyrical phrasing do not just engage the heart, but they invite the consciousness to open." - NAPRA TRADE JOURNAL

Guitarist Al Petteway can play the hair off a dog. His left hand glides like a spider on skates along the fretboard while his right hand picks out marvelous clusters of notes. So smooth. So fluid. Oil on a skillet." - MINOR 7TH

"A virtuoso finger-style guitarist with one foot in each of the Celtic and American folk music camps." - REAL TO REEL NEWS

"In 2005, the readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine voted Al Petteway one of the Top Fifty Acoustic Guitarists of all Time. For the hardcore music-seekers, we’d known about the Grammy-winning musician, teacher and acoustic guitar master for years. You might say Al is like the Yoda of the acoustic guitar…mellow, soft-spoken, and seemingly infinitely gifted. (He isn’t nearly 800 years old though, as far as I know.) His music was the driving muse behind my own acoustic guitar instrumental, Dry Pond Road. Although, after that recording, I must admit, Al’s delicate and precise touch on the fretboard is something I will always admire, but may never replicate. I am amazed, but he is amazing.

"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." - Ricky Fitzpatrick, FIVE ON THE FIVE

For Solo bookings contact:

Al Petteway
P.O. Box 1093
Weaverville, NC 28787

Al and Amy Home Page

Email Al

Fairewood Studios
P.O. Box 1093 - Weaverville, NC 28787