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Al Anderson

Guitarist and songwriter Al Anderson is probably still best known for his 22-year stint with roots rock renegades NRBQ, though he's distinguished himself as a gifted songwriter and solo artist since striking out on his own. Born in 1947 in Windsor, CT, Anderson was raised in a musical family, and after developing a taste for country music via the radio, he picked up a guitar and was proficient enough to begin playing with a local band, the Visuals, at the age of 11. (An out of print EP, Little Al, featured home recordings of Anderson made the year before.) After playing with several local teen combos, Anderson ended up playing guitar with a band called the Six Packs, who in 1966 changed their name to the Wildweeds. In 1967, the first song Anderson wrote for the band, a tough R&B-influenced tune called "No Good to Cry," became a massive hit on the East Coast and was picked up for national distribution by Cadet Records. While the song briefly cracked the Billboard Top 100 (and was covered by a Florida band called the Hour Glass, who in time would evolve into the Allman Brothers Band), the Wildweeds never managed to grow beyond their massive regional popularity, and their sole full-length album, a self-titled effort released by Vanguard in 1970, found them moving into a country-rock direction shortly before they broke up. (A compilation of the Wildweeds' Cadet-era material was released in 2002.)

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