Published Friday, November 16, 2012

Grammy winners' performance to benefit New Leaf

From Staff Reports

New Leaf Community Garden, in conjunction with Musicology of Newnan, will present Grammy award winning multi-instrumentalists Al Petteway and Amy White in a benefit concert on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Newnan Presbyterian Church.

The event’s proceeds will support New Leaf Community Garden.

Sowing Seeds of Harmony and Hope is an evening of special acoustic music and song to benefit Phase II of the New Leaf Community Garden. New Leaf’s purpose is to educate, feed, and nourish the community through a sustainable community garden. Phase Two will add to the projects already completed in Phase I with projects such as rain barrels, compost, furrows planted for U-Pick and the food pantry, informational stations, solar power, raised beds for gardeners with special needs, and butterfly bushes, flowers and herbs added for spring.

Award-winning, critically-acclaimed, passionate and playful, Petteway and White offer an intoxicating blend of musical styles. Their repertoire includes original, traditional, contemporary Celtic- and Appalachian-influenced music with occasional nods to rock and jazz. Their performances feature acoustic guitar, mandolin, Celtic harp, piano, banjo, lap dulcimer, world percussion, and a touch of vocals. Their music has been prominently featured in the documentaries of Ken Burns.

Before moving from the Washington, DC, area to the mountains of Western North Carolina, Al and Amy won 50 WAMMIE Awards from the Washington Area Music Association. In addition, they were awarded 5 separate 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 Al won a Grammy from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Al was voted one of the Top 50 Guitarists of all time by the readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine and he has won Silver and Bronze medals in the magazine’s “Players’ Choice Awards.”

The couple’s music was featured throughout the soundtrack of the 2009 Ken Burns Emmy-winning documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” And in 2010, their album, “Caledon Wood,” was counted among the essential albums of the past 20 years in the Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s 20th anniversary issue.

Al and Amy enjoy living in their 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 Al and Amy’s photographs are represented by The National Geographic Society’s Image Collection, where Al worked as an image editor for 18 years.

Among many other pursuits, Al 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, Amy launched Cat Angel Press, which released its first full-color gift-book, “Cat Angels: The Secret Lives of Cats.” There are more angels and books to come.

High in the Blue Ridge, Al and Amy’s recording of Appalachian- and Celtic-inspired melodies, was released in early 2011. They each released solo CDs in 2012. Al’s is a solo acoustic project featuring fingerstyle blues titled “It’s Only the Blues” and Amy’s CD features her original songs and is titled “Home, Sweet Home.”

Due to high demand, the duo is planning a DVD of nature photography and original music as a companion to their popular multi-media presentations. Fans enjoy following Al and Amy on Facebook and YouTube where they share their music, photography, and the very popular Critter Cam images of wildlife on their mountain.

The concert is Saturday, Dec. 8. Doors open at 6:30 and the concert begins at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $12 and $15 at the door. Student and Senior (65+) tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Tickets are available at Musicology, Christy’s Cafe, Let Them Eat Toffee, Sugar Magnolia, and Fern’s Market in Serenbe.

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