Al & Amy present an acoustic instrumental celebration highlighting over a decade of musical collaboration. It's a brilliant convergence of Celtic, progressive bluegrass, rock, country, blues, jazz and classical idioms featuring Al Petteway's signature finger style acoustic guitar- voted one of 30 essential guitarists in the USA (guitar Player) and Amy White, WAMA winner "Best new-age artist" on piano, guitar, mandolin and with guest artists including Eric Rigler on Uilleann pipes.

This new release features the trademark sound of duo Al & Amy in new compositions as well as new arrangements and newly digitally re-mastered favorites of their most popular and frequently requested music from their touring concerts throughout the USA.

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"A caffeinated, jazz-spiked acoustic brew."

~ The Washington City Paper

"Acoustic groove music that sparkles and dances"

~ NAPRA Magazine

"Some of the most beautiful instrumental guitar work ever recorded."

~ Dirty Linen Magazine

"Music of transporting power and beauty, shaped not only by a keen sense of lyricism and dynamics, but also a quiet soulfulness that continually draws in the listener."

~ The Washington Post

"Amy White and Al Petteway may hail from North Carolina, but Celtic mists animate Acoustic Journey, a retrospective of their ten years of musical collaboration. In a balanced mix of 15 traditional and original compositions cherry-picked from earlier solo and duo CDs, Petteway's formidable fingerstyle guitar and White's delicately nuanced mandolin, piano, and guitar dance like fairy lights in airy filigrees around each other. Also includes three piano/guitar duets have a ruminative, pensive power."

~ Acoustic guitar Magazine

Tune List

  1. Desert Dance/Mariposa (7:03)
  2. Caledon Wood (7:48)
  3. Sundog (5:27)
  4. Midnight Ride (4:50)
  5. You Make Me Smile (2:38)
  6. Red-Haired Boy (3:56)
  7. Loss (6:16)
  8. Baker's Dozen (2:22)
  9. Celtic Wedding (2:07)
  10. Accokeek Shore (2:17)
  11. Bareback (5:18)
  12. Lullaby (3:12)
  13. Ode to Ferdinand (4:05)
  14. Silver Branch (5:59)
  15. New Moon (5:16)

Liner Notes

INTRO: When we first met, we had no idea that we would embark on this musical journey together. We've come so far in ten short years and are so grateful for this time that we've shared.And we're excited about what new harmonies we have yet to discover. Acoustic Journey is a celebration of a decade of musical collaboration. We present this recording to you in two ways:

1) as a performance of sorts, and this is reflected in the sequence of tunes. Those of you who have seen us perform live will recognize the opening and closing selections quite well; and

2) as a collection of the many tunes that best represent the evolution of our musical partnership.

Here are those first duets and favorite duets. Here, also, are compositions that have deep emotional significance for us and our history together - tunes that could not be easily excluded from this collection without being missed. Naturally, there were many other tunes that we wanted to include but we had to draw the line somewhere. So we did. 7 of the 15 tracks on this CD are original recordings from previously-released CDs that we digitally re-mastered at high resolution.The other 8 tracks are brand new high resolution digital recordings of favorites that we've performed over the last decade. This recording project has been incredibly rewarding for us and we hope that you enjoy the results. As always - our heartfelt thanks go to our family, fans and friends who have traveled with us in spirit - as well as on, off and near every stage.And thanks to you, our listener, for joining us on this journey.
Al & Amy

1. Desert Dance / Mariposa 7:01
by Al & Amy / Al - guitar , Amy - mandolin, percussion and vocals, Paddy League - bodhran.

From our Racing Hearts album: This is a favorite overture in our live performances. Although these two tunes were originally recorded separately, over the years we have enjoyed combining them in this medley that travels through the deserts of Arizona through Central America, Galicia and beyond. Our good friend and fine multi-instrumentalist Paddy League joins us on this track.

2. Caledon Wood 7:47
by Al / Al - guitar , Amy - Ashiko Drum, Eric Rigler - Uilleann pipes, Anderson Allen - Congas & percussion

From Al's Caledon Wood album--another favorite from our live performances, this tune was inspired by a photograph of one of the last standing virgin forests in Scotland. This original recording features the plaintive and rockin' sounds of our friend Eric Rigler on his fine Uilleann pipes. Eric was kind enough to fly out from California to perform at our wedding ceremony. On his birthday, no less. Soon after Eric began playing at the ceremony, a rainbow appeared overhead. (Is there magic in them pipes?) And later on, about half-way through the wedding, the entire wedding party and attendees sang Eric a rousing "Happy Birthday." Al met Anderson Allen at a studio session earlier in the year. He then came home to tell Amy about this great percussionist he just met (and what a nice guy he was.) Well, Amy and Anderson had been friends and had performed together for many years before either had met Al. So - here is to those inner circles intertwining and to that great small world, which expands even as it becomes more intimate.

3. Sundog 5:24

by Al & Amy / Al - guitar , Amy - piano, Anderson Allen - percussion

From Al's Caledon Wood album: Among the many blessings on our wedding day was that beautiful sundog-rainbow that presided over our wedding circle. Thanks to the loving spirit of family and friends for all the preparations and the lasting power of that incredible day. Thanks too, to Maggie and Richard of Maggie's Music for the beautiful setting and for their friendship. Refreshing breezes, circling ospreys, fairy cakes, music in the round and miracles a plenty. That was a day to remember. This is our music in honor of that memory.

4. Midnight Ride 4:48

by Al / Amy - guitar , Al - guitar , Mahdal Drum and fretless bass

Originally recorded as a solo guitar piece on Al's WHISPERING STONES album. This is one of the very first duets that we performed together live. We love how the latter sections lend themselves to ethereal improvisation. After nearly nine years, we've decided to bring this fine horse out for another ride. Hold on tight!

5. You Make Me Smile 2:36

by Amy / Amy - mandolin, Al - guitar , Mahdal and fretless bass

This is our first recording of this happy tune. Smile was inspired by a fellow Amy noticed while commuting to work in the early 90s. While most morning commuters tend to resemble those morose drudges from the film Metropolis, this one commuter stood out of the crowd. There he was, briefcase swung over his shoulder, walking toward the Takoma Park Metro station with a light and happy gait - playing the flute! He must have been smiling too, though that could have just been his embouchure.

6. Red-Haired Boy 3:55

Trad / Al - guitar , Amy - mandolin, Myron Bretholz - bodhran

From Al's MIDSUMMER MOON album. This is one of the first traditional tunes that we picked out together on the front stoop of our old home in Takoma Park, MD. Our dear and talented friend, Myron Bretholz joins us on this track. Myron is a veritable treasure trove of information. He is a loving archive of all things musically-Celtic and of all people worthy of praise. And there are a lot of both, thank goodness. We sure miss those inevitable chance encounters with Myron at the local coffee-shop where we'd hug like it was long-time-no-see, indulge in culinary delights and talk for hours about all that is right with the world. And there is still a lot of that, too, thank goodness.

7. Loss 6:15

by Amy & Al / Amy - piano, Al - guitar .From BITTERSWEET - an American Romance

8. Baker's Dozen 2:20

by Amy & Al / Amy - guitar , Al - guitar and Fretless Bass

First recorded on our GRATITUDE album. Soon after meeting each other, we discovered we both had a penchant for tapping out rhythms - usually on the dinner table and nearly everything else that is set on that table. (Perhaps to the dismay of our fellow diners.) Amy had been playing the pattern in this tune for years but wasn't sure about the time signature. Al decided the tune was in 13/4 time - hence the title. So, the goal of the tune? Other than fun? Amy Zens out in her world of 13 while Al time-travels all over the place. This new recording was a blast to create and Al's wild and funky fretless bass takes the piece to a whole new dimension and brings it all together. Enjoy!

9. The Celtic Wedding 2:05

by Al & Amy / Amy - mandolin, Al - guitar , bodhran and fretless bass. First recorded on Al's Whispering Stones album. This new version is among the first duets we arranged together. When listening to the original version, Amy heard another tune just begging to be played simultaneously.

10. Accokeek Shore 2:14

by Al / Al - guitar , Amy - mandolin

Originally recorded on Al's The Waters & the Wild album. We're happy to be recording this new version after playing it this way for so many years. Like Midnight Ride and The Wedding, this version of Accokeek Shore is a new duo-rendition of an earlier solo composition.

11. Bareback 5:18

by Amy & Al / Amy - piano, Al - guitar

From Amy's Bittersweet piano album. Another midnight ride with sensual interludes, but this time a Steinway piano states the theme. Written in fond memory of the horses and stables near Amy's childhood home - all of which are now gone by way of the usual symbols of progress.

12. Lullaby 3:10

By Amy & Al / Amy - guitar and vocals, Al - Irish bouzouki and vocals

From our Racing Hearts album. One of the very few tunes where we both vocalize. Instrumental music is our first love. On this tune, however, we use our voices, though in an instrumental fashion. No words are sounded but we like to think that our voices still offer the emotional import of a song.

13. Ode to Ferdinand 4:04

by Amy & Al / Amy - mandolin, Al - guitar and fretless bass

First recorded on Amy's Piano Diaries album (which is now out of print) and inspired by the children's book character, "Ferdinand the Bull," whose pacifist spirit reminds Amy of Al. Al had not heard of this children's book before he met Amy, so she gave it to him during their first Christmas celebration.

14. Silver Branch 5:57

by Al / Al - guitar, Agogo, percussion and fretless bass, Amy - mandolin, Ashiko and conga drums, Ghungroo and shaker

Originally recorded on The Waters & the Wild. As legend has it, if you possess 'the silver branch' you may enter the land of fairy, join in the celebrations and leave unharmed to return to your everyday world. But why bother? Why not use that silver branch to gain entry to the magical realm then conveniently misplace the branch for an extended stay? As promised for so many years, we have recorded this favorite once more. This time we've included our drum-jam which we are so fond of playing - and which we traditionally use to close our live performances. Ankle Bells and all. Watch out for the fairies! They joined in on this one near the end.

15. New Moon 5:15

by Amy & Al / Amy - guitar , Al - guitar

Originally on Midsummer Moon. This piece was our very first collaborative composition and is dear to our hearts. It was inspired by a trip to Swans Island, Maine during the new moon and the Perseid meteor showers. This is our favorite duet for closing a show - both as an encore and as thanks to the audience for sharing their energy with us...


All Tracks recorded and mixed by Al Petteway at Fairewood Studios, Fairview, NC or Takoma Park, MD, and mastered by William Wolf, Wolf Productions, Falls Church, VA, with the exception of: - Loss and Bareback,recorded by Art Isaacs and Al Petteway at Harmony Hall Regional Center, Fort Washington, MD, and -Caledon Wood and Sundog, recorded and mixed by Jim Robeson at Bias Recording, Springfield, VA and mastered by David Glasser, Airshow, Springfield, VA.

Photography, photomontages and graphic design by Amy White, Fairewood Studios, Fairview, NC. Al & Amy love their Kevin Ryan guitars, their Weber mandolin, Sobel bouzouki, Boston grand piano, and Gardner Ashiko drum - not to mention those Dean Markley and D'Addario Strings, G7th capos and Planet Wave accessories. (Olson & Sifel guitar s were also played for these recordings.)

Acoustic Journey
  1. Sundog Al Petteway and Amy White 1:22
  2. Midnight Ride Al Petteway and Amy White 1:40
  3. You Make Me Smile Al Petteway and Amy White 1:37
  4. The Red-Haired Boy Al Petteway and Amy White 1:11
  5. Baker's Dozen Al Petteway and Amy White 1:44
  6. Celtic Wedding Al Petteway and Amy White 0:43
  7. Silver Branch Al Petteway and Amy White 0:56
  8. Midsummer Moon Al Petteway and Amy White 1:09