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Anderson, Al (26th July 1947-Present)

He is a guitarist and singer-songwriter nicknamed “Big Al” born in Windsor, Connecticut, whose father was a bass player and mother a pianist.

Largely learning to play by ear, he did have a few lessons and by the age of 10 was already starting to record under the name “Little Al”. The following year he became a member of The Visuals and the next couple of years saw him with The Altones, the Blues Messengers, The Six Packs and a jazz trio.

In 1966 the Six Packs evolved into The Wildweeds and were soon heard at local gigs and in 1967 they got their chance when Al’s song “No Good to Cry” became a regional hit, was spotted by Cadet which was a subsidiary of Chess, and suddenly hit the charts at No. 88. Not repeating that success, he and a changed line-up moved to Vanguard and released The Wildweeds. Matthews Southern Comfort later covered two of the songs on the album.

In 1971 he and the band were asked to perform at a gig with NRBQ (New Rhythm & Blues Quartet) and this resulted in his joining them as a member in December that year. He remained with them for 22 years as well releasing his own solo material with John Sebastian, Elvis Costello, Glenn Worf , Delbert McClinton and others appearing on various of his albums.

His writing and co-writing of songs has seen him working with/writing for acts such as Alabama , Duane Eddy, John Hiatt, The Mavericks, LeAnn Rimes, Hank Williams Jr., Trisha Yearwood and the co-written “Every Little Thing” is Carlene Carter’s biggest hit to date.

As a musician he has also worked with many acts including Jimmy Buffett, Nanci Griffith , The Highwaymen, John Martin, David Sanborn and Randy Travis to name a few. Albums he features on include his own Little Al, Party Favors, Pay Before You Pump, Got Myself in Trouble Again, After Hours and Pawn Shop Guitars as well as License to Chill by Jimmy Buffett , Yound Blood by Jerry Lee Lewis, All Hopped Up, Kick Me Hard, Scraps and Workshop by NBRQ, Supernatural by Santana, No Good to Cry: The Best Of… by The Wildweed among many others.

Recognised in the music business, Musician Magazine named him one of the “top 100 guitarists of the 20th century” in 1993. He currently appears with his group Big Al Anderson & The Balls and shares his time between Santa Fe and Nashville.