"Petteway balances a technical virtuosity with a strong sense of song form"
- The Washington Post

"Al's guitar and bouzouki playing is, as always, both impeccable
and overflowing with radiant surprises."
- The Takoma Voice

"An innovative instrumentalist known for his open tunings, Petteway offers a rich, dulcet sound that features a fusion of old and new...inventive and touching."
 - Boston Globe

 "Al Petteway's solo guitar pieces were lovely, intricate and imaginative."
       -The Washington Post

"He's quite a talent...- Maryland Musician

"Al Petteway is quickly building a catalogue of some of
the most beautiful guitar work ever recorded."
 - Dirty Linen

"He is an incredibly talented and inventive player.
It's like he feels everything you feel when you're playing and helps you get it across."
 - Cheryl Wheeler

"A skilled and inspired player who draws on his own Celtic ancestry
and his deeply felt love of the traditional music of the British Isles."
- Real to Reel News

"A virtuoso finger-style guitarist with one foot in each of the Celtic and American folk music camps."
- Real to Reel News

"Al Petteway has made a well-deserved name for himself with his customized combination of Celtic and American folk themes interpreted through his artful fingerstyle acoustic guitar work."
- Real to Reel News

 "Mr. Petteway is a very talented fingerstyle guitarist
-- fluid, with a good knowledge of tunings and modalities."
- Rhythm Music Magazine

"Al Petteway is to the States as John Renbourn is to the British Isles; both are extraordinary guitarists who are well-versed in the traditions of the guitar, but talented enough to transcend genre without sacrificing any of the music's intent or dignity."
     - JAM Florida's Music Magazine

"A gentle, powerful acoustic guitarist" - New Age Journal

"A formidable sound indeed" - Irish Edition

2012 Release - IT'S ONLY THE BLUES


"It's somewhat odd to hear traditional blues tunes, influenced by

Etta Baker, Doc Watson, and Big Bill Broonzy, played with such
lush tones and earnest elegance, but fingerstyle guitarist
Al Petteway uses these original and traditional blues
not only to pay homage to his musical heroes but as
a canvas on which to paint his own suave, skillful sensibility."
-Scott Nygaard (Editor, Acoustic Guitar Magazine)

"... a great fingerstyle Blues album."
-Teja Gerken (Senior Editor, Acoustic Guitar Magazine)

"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.
Hugely varied and full of surprises, It's Only The Blues is a primer for guitarists,
showing how to create compositions that respect the past and yet take even the
most established of traditions in new and exciting directions.
- Celine Keating (Acoustic Guitar Magazine Playlist)




I am not one to rush out and buy an instructional video. For the most part, instructional videos are shallow and offer little of how to actually improve your technique and enhance one's abilities on an instrument. They are generally nothing more than a means to view a favorite guitar player while he or she rips through a few impressive licks. Luckily, there is always an exception to the rule.

I took a chance and purchased a video by a guy named AL PETTEWAY who plays Celtic fingerstyle guitar. My only exposure to Mr. Petteway was through a 3 CD sampler I had purchased from ACOUSTIC MUSIC RESOURCE a month ago so I really had no idea what to expect from this guy. Hey, he had that "Celtic look" on the video cover so how could I go wrong? After viewing the video (over and over to the point where my wife and son groan every time I get near the TV), I can now say that not all videos are a waste of time and money! Not only is Al's playing top notch, but his instructional approach is personable and refreshing.

I almost felt like I was sitting there with "da man" himself (and that is how a video like this should be). Al currently has two videos available and I picked up the one for DADGAD tuning through HOMESPUN VIDEOS. This is the best $30 I have spent in a long long time! I can see now I should have taken HOMESPUN up on their offer to buy both videos and save myself $10, but that is my own fault and a lesson learned. I will have no problem spending the money after seeing this first installment.

On the DADGAD video, Al performs several of his songs and arrangements and then breaks them down section by section, describing the technique used and explains a bit of history behind how he came to write the songs. Al also explains the uniqueness of the Celtic guitar style and how to really embellish a song while also increasing knowledge and personal technique on the instrument.

Keep in mind that I am not the type of guy that wants a bunch of music theory pushed at me because at my age (44) I do not have the time to worry about modes and scales (nor do I really care about such things). I just want to play my guitar. Al tactfully provides brief and to the point descriptions concerning music theory and then it is back to hands on instruction again. He did it so smoothly (actually snuck it in on me), I did not realized that I actually learned some theory. The presentation is 110% professional, educational and user friendly.

The video has a split screen which allows the viewer to see exactly how each piece is played, both on the neck and the right hand finger picking technique that is used. My only complaint about this video is I wish AL's guitar had those little dots on the fret board as it makes it easier to follow where fingers are supposed to be when he is using a capo. My eyesight is not what it used to be you know! :-) Anyone interested in trying DADGAD tuning and/or Celtic style guitar playing, this two video series is a must! Al's other Celtic style video, provides instruction on some other alternate tunings he uses in his repertoire.

Mr. Petteway's personal technique is impressive as he makes each piece look easy and fun to play. His playing style is fluent and graceful and his compositions both emotional and inspiring to listen to. Lots of new ideas can be generated from this video for broadening your own creativity and composing skills. I was searching for a direction in my personal playing style, and thanks to Al Petteway, I think I found it!

- Guitar News Weekly - Mike Fred



"...nimble and lyrical guitar work, beautifully captured in crisp 20-bit digital technology,
weaving all the diverse threads together into one masterful, multi-faceted musical tapestry."
- Real to Reel News

"For those who appreciate a master guitarist unphased by hollow taglines,
 CALEDON WOOD and Petteway's back-catalog will provide hours of enjoyment."


"A wonderfully evocative recording by acoustic guitarist Al Petteway whose mastery of alternate tunings facilitates his now familiar knack for altering a listener's state of ensemble effort, a graceful, intimate, mostly Celtic-inspired melding of guitar, mandolin, pipes and percussion. The title track...demonstrates Petteway's six-string flair for updating traditional music without sacrificing a whit of its inherentbeauty, bounce or poignancy...No doubt 'Caledon Wood' will be filed under 'New Age' at many record stores. But it's not to be confused with merely contemplative mood music, for beneath its obvious melodic appeal, there's plenty of heart and soul."
- The Washington Post

"As lively as a brook...his phrasing is crisp, his tone crystalline,
his sense of place and placement atmospheric, his romancing of a Sifel guitar noteworthy...

keen arrangements of striking instruments by top-notch players...

piano, uilleann pipes and hammered dulcimer add the fragrance and the heather."

-  The Morning Call, Bethlehem, PA

"What a delightful album! For lovers of acoustic guitar played in a mostly ensemble setting,
it's a treat definitely worth seeking out... always heartfelt and evocative."

- Wind and Wire

"Caledon Wood is Petteway's fourth solo album and, as with the first three, is a seamless integration of Celtic inspired melodies filtered through a variety of world music influences. Petteway has a real knack for sensing the essence of a piece of music and he's not afraid to enhance a composition with elements that might fall flat in the hands of a less-inspired player.  There are moments when you hear elements combined that seem so effortless and obvious in Petteway's hands that one wonders why nobody else thought to do things this way.  This master of playing, composition and arrangement is perhaps America's best kept secret, but it's truly about time for that to change."
- JAM Magazine



"...An acoustic guitar album for all seasons. Steeped in Celtic tradition, arranged with great subtlety and imagination, it presents listeners with a little midsummer's night magic to go...For all its dreamy allure, the music circumvents New Age lulls by virtue of its firm, traditional underpinning and Petteway's formidable, if understated, gifts as a player and composer...At the heart of each arrangement is Petteway's articulate tone, graceful phrasing and inherent romanticism. In fact, that combination alone is often persuasive enough to probewhat a little moonlight can do."
- The Washington Post

"Tunings, cool jazz sounds and world rhythms...Petteway's most innovative release to date."
- Irish American News, Chicago

"Petteway's tunes stand up quite well next to the classics he interprets...
Petteway has a wonderful touch and when he solos, the sound is so clear and warm,

you could swear he were in the room with you...

This release will delight fans of instrumental guitar music

as well as lovers of traditional Celtic music.

- Dirty Linen

"A friendly mix of up-tempo pieces, playful tunes and reflective ballads. Petteway also tosses in
some interesting experimentation. In addition to occasional sax, African drums and, on one track, bassoon,

he introduces the growling drones of the Australian didgeridoo...

The album's centerpiece is a glorious rendition of 'Wild Mountain Thyme,'

a perfect testament to Al Petteway's skill and sensitivity in interpreting this timeless tradition."

- Real to Reel News

"An acoustic album for all seasons - steeped in the Celtic tradition but
brimming over with originality and an evocative modern sound."

- Leading Edge Review

"Al Petteway's Midsummer Moon is the finest'guitar album I've heard in a long time,
one of the finest albums period! (And I'm not much of one for effusive praise.)

What a great guitarist! Excellent backup musicians, too!  Please tell him how much I like it.

Any chance we could have Whispering Stones?

 -    Ken Carolus, WDPR-FM Dayton Public Radio, Inc

"The skilled but never showy acoustic guitarist concocts an instrumental stew flavored by
a dash of didgeridoo and a pinch of uilleann pipes, among other exotic ingredients."

- New Age Journal

"Another beautiful, quiet yet powerful album from guitarist Al Petteway...perfect late-night music,
from the gorgeous version of 'Red-Haired Boy' to the many Celtic-inspired original pieces ....

I am leery of New Age or "pretty" albums, unless they have substance. This one does;

it's marvelous."

- KANU-FM Flint Hills Special

"An extremely satisfying album for both the fan of traditional music who welcomes innovation and the
adult contemporary who enjoys acoustic music with an authentic accent."

- New Age Voice

"A virtuoso finger-style guitarist with one foot in each of the Celtic and American folk music camps
.... The beauty of nature and the delightfulness of children are recurring themes ....

The album's centerpiece is a glorious rendition of 'Wild MountainThyme,' one of the loveliest tunes in the Celtic repertoire, played here as a haunting duet between guitar and pipes,

a perfect testament to Al Petteway's skill and sensitivity in interpreting this timeless tradition."

- Real to Reel News



"A sentimental journey to places real and imagined.
On one hand, it's a shimmering six-string ode to mid-Atlantic creeks and waterways

and the contemplative pleasures they offer;

on the other,a tone poem inspired by geography you won't find on any map ....

His skills as an acoustic guitarist [and] his frequent use of altered tunings

and the alluring melodies they give rise to are apt to create an altered state of mind in any listener."

- The Washington Post

"...a gem. Beautiful in tone, crisp and cleanly executed, the all-original compositions are inspired
...Introspective and lyrical, the pieces express a range of moods and the variety of rhythmic motifs and melodic nuances make repeated listenings a pleasure...Highly recommended!"

- Victory Review

"The tunes float by with plenty of dexterity. The evocative 'Broken Mist' recalls Renbourn whilst
"Chesapeake" has Celtic echoes. 'Accokeek Shore' has both Elizabethan and contemporary strains

...a reminder of Petteway's talent and ingenuity, and only the mouth-watering beginning.

- Rock 'n Reel (U.K.)

"...brings the pulse of the outdoors inside one's home...
a host of influences: Celtic, bluegrass, blues and country, combined into a lively but quiet mix...

Petteway's guitar playing mimics the play of the water over rocks, the flight of birds overhead,

the flow of the stream along the banks, etc, without sounding corny or trite."

-  Iowa City Icon

"One fine combination of heart, fingers, strings, and resonant guitar...
This is the sort of intelligently played guitar that clears both sight and mind...

Petteway is joined by penny whistle, cello, bodhran, and accordion,

bringing the pieces to life with Celtic gusto.  He also plays a mean blues!

- NAPRA Trade Journal

"Petteway combines some gorgeous melodies with American and Celtic influences that
remind one of the simple, straightforward arrangements of classical guitarist John Williams...

a clean, fluid guitar style -- he doesn't try to be flashy, just good. And at this he succeeds admirably."

- Dirty Linen

"...nine solo guitar tunes from this promising guitarist-composer.
Petteway's playing style is understated and clean, the compositions are varied and engaging.

I tend to think of them as guitar tunes, but painterly and well-developed ones...

"Shadyside Blues" is one of the cooler, blues-based shuffles I've heard on unaccompanied guitar

...Petteway offerings hit the spot."

- Acoustic Guitar Magazine

"In The Waters and the Wild, Al sticks to his melodic technically impressive and
universally appealing style, drawing from the music and myth of his Celtic heritage

and the inspiration of creeks and waterways throughout the Mid-Atlantic."

- New Bay Times

His 1993 (mostly) solo fingerstyle release, The Waters and the Wild, reflects a complex mix of
influences underlying its overtly British Isles sound, which sometimes recalls Pierre Bensusan.

The overall flavor of this collection, which is captured in "Flood Plain", is mellow,

emphasizing picturesque and evocative tunes that show off Petteway's

innate tunefulness and ability to capture a mood.

Throughout, his playing is tasteful and sure-handed."

- Acoustic Guitar Magazine


"Petteway has an unusually delicate and expressive touch, perfectly suited to this haunting collection...
an exquisite reading of O'Carolan's 'Sidh Beag, Sidh Mor' ...a joy to hear from start to finish."

- The Washington Post

"An affinity and reverence for British Isles folk-style melodies and concise,
clean arrangements similar to those of Renbourn's better work.

Echoes of Pierre Bensusan also ring clearly throughout Petteway's music."

- Acoustic Guitar Magazine

"Not to be exemplary album of fingerstyle guitar music that reaffirms my belief that
there are people playing fine acoustic guitar music outside the New Age genre...highly recommended.

- Dirty Linen

" amazing guitarist and arranger. His production is perfect, his guitar is sharp and clean, and his use of other instruments is a blueprint for production values. All this said, though, the most amazing thing about this release is Petteway himself. He recorded every cut without overdubs...No matter what kind of music you like, this album is a must buy.
I cannot remember an album I enjoyed as much.

 - Proving Ground

"His articulate, flawless fingering and lyrical phrasings
do not just engage the heart, but they invite the consciousness to open."

- NAPRA Trade Journal

"This is hypnotically beautiful music,
romantic and lush without being syrupy or dull.

Petteway's playing is captivating."

- Flint Hills Special, KANU-FM (Kansas)

"Al Petteway is a name that should be familiar to guitar fanciers. Whispering Stones is a tribute to his Celtic heritage, beautifully picked on acoustic guitar. Some are ancient tunes, others he has newly composed in the old style.
All tunes are quiet, sophisticated and somewhat introspective."

- Philadelphia City Paper


32 White Oak Forest Rd.
Fairview, NC 28730
Tel: 828-628-6428 ~ Fax: 828-628-6427