Grammy Award-winning guitarist Al Petteway and his wife, Amy White, will treat fans to a concert of contemporary Celtic and Appalachian-influenced acoustic groove music — accented by a multi-media presentation of their original photography — when they perform Friday, Dec. 7, at the Kingsport Renaissance Center.
Special guest Beth Snapp will open the show at 7:30 p.m.
It’s been an eventful year for Petteway and White, with each releasing a solo album in 2012. Petteway’s is an acoustic project titled “It’s Only the Blues,” while White’s is an all-original CD called “Home, Sweet Home: Songs of Love, Loss and Belonging.” Their music also was included in the soundtrack for Ken Burns’ latest film, “The Dust Bowl,” which aired earlier this month on PBS.
Before moving from the Washington, D.C., area to the mountains of Western North Carolina, Petteway and White won 50 Wammie Awards from the Washington Area Music Association. In addition, they were awarded five 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 Petteway won a Grammy from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He was also voted one of the top 50 guitarists of all time by readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and in 2008 won silver and bronze medals in the magazine’s “Players’ Choice Awards.”
The couple’s music was featured throughout the soundtrack of Ken Burns’ 2009 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 Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s 20th anniversary issue.
The couple lives in a mountain aerie at 4,300 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 Petteway and White’s photographs are represented by the National Geographic Society’s Image Collection, where Petteway worked as an image editor for 18 years. In addition to their concerts and workshops, Petteway and White also offer winter-themed and four-season multi-media shows that feature live music performed against a backdrop of nature photography.
Among other pursuits, Petteway 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. In early 2010, White launched Cat Angel Press, which released its first full-color gift-book, “Cat Angels: The Secret Lives of Cats.”
“High in the Blue Ridge,” Petteway and White’s recording of Appalachian- and Celtic-inspired melodies, was released in early 2011.
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.
Tickets to their Kingsport concert are $15 for reserved seats and $12 for students, and can be purchased online at www.engagekingsport.com. Three dollars from the cost of each ticket will be donated to the SBK Animal Center. Donations of dog/puppy food, cat/kitten food, non-clumping clay cat litter, Clorox bleach, Fabuloso Cleaner laundry detergent, paper towels, leashes and collars will also be accepted for the shelter.