In 1973, Columbia Records released "Avenging Annie," one of the most ambitious singles of the decade. The song was penned and recorded by Boston-based singer/songwriter Andy Pratt, a recent Harvard grad and skilled studio engineer. Back in 1968 Pratt began building and operating his own recording studio and soon became active in the Cambridge music scene with groups like Butter and the Chosen Few. A 1969 solo album received little attention, but his 1972 demo of "Avenging Annie" caught the ears of Columbia, who released Pratt's self-titled album the following year to widespread critical praise. Pratt toured the album with an outstanding band that included the young jazz guitarist, John Scofield, and Spyro Gyra's Dave Samuels, as well as singers Erin Dickens and Pat Rosalia, who Greg Allman would soon recruit for his band. Despite such a promising start, the album experienced only modest sales outside the Northeastern United States. Columbia opted not to renew Pratt's contract the following year.
Following the death of his father shortly thereafter, Pratt enrolled in Boston's Life Institute, searching for a higher meaning in life. In 1976, with a newfound sense of purpose, Pratt signed with Atlantic Records and got to work on his next album, Resolution, with legendary Arif Mardin producing. Resolution featured some of the best pop musicians of the era and received uniformly rave reviews, with uber-influential Rolling Stone magazine proclaiming that the album "has forever changed the face of rock." Pratt assembled another impressive touring band, which would begin his longtime collaboration with Syracuse-born guitarist and arranger, Mark Doyle, opening for groups like The Band and Loggins & Messina. A second Arif Marden produced album, Shiver The Night was released in 1977 to lesser fanfare. Following a memorable final concert before 7000 people in Boston's City Hall Plaza, Pratt left the music industry for several years due to lack of support. He didn't stop writing and recording, however, focusing instead on Christian music. He married a Dutch woman and moved to Belgium, where here he remained until 2003. Pratt then returned to Boston after his second divorce, and has returned to making commercial records. He has since re-grouped with both Mark Doyle and Gary Link from his classic mid-1970s band.
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