In 1971, shortly after the Wildweeds folded, Anderson signed on as guitarist with NRBQ, following the departure of original guitarist Steve Ferguson. Anderson's love of country, R&B, rockabilly, and jazz made him the perfect match for the ever-eclectic group, and along with his blazing fretboard work, Anderson contributed more than a few memorable songs to the group's catalog, including "Ridin' in My Car," "It Comes to Me Naturally," "Crazy Like a Fox," and "A Girl Like That." In 1972, still owing Vanguard an album under the Wildweeds' contract, Anderson cut his first solo set (simply called Al Anderson), featuring NRBQ bandmates Terry Adams and Tom Staley, and Wildweeds bassist Al Lepak. In 1989, Anderson quietly released his second solo album, Party Favors, and collaborated on tunes with noted songwriter John Hiatt. Over the next several years, Anderson began concentrating more and more on his songwriting and became disenchanted with NRBQ's busy tour schedule. After a tune Anderson wrote for Carlene Carter, "Every Little Thing," became a massive hit on country radio, Anderson left the band, saying he had "no hard feelings. It was a great band before, and will be a great band after."
While Anderson occasionally toured as a guitarist-for-hire for a number of country acts, he devoted the bulk of his time to his songwriting, and in time landed tunes with some of the biggest Nashville hitmakers of the 1990s, including Trisha Yearwood, LeAnn Rimes, Alabama, the Mavericks, and Deana Carter. Anderson did find time to cut another solo album in 1996, the raucous roots rock set Pay Before You Pump, as well as the 14-track After Hours in 2006. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi