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Alabama's Heartland were formed by singer Jason Albert, guitarist Craig Anderson, and drummer Todd Anderson, with lead guitarist Mike Myerson, bassist Keith West, and fiddler Chuck Crawford coming on board a little later to make the group a six-piece. Citing influences as diverse as Johnny Cash, AC/DC, Alabama, Sam Cooke, Van Halen, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, and the Beach Boys, the band developed a strong regional following in the Huntsville, AL, region with their strong live shows. Catching the eye of Lofton Creek Records, Heartland signed a recording contract with the Nashville indie and was soon recording at Muscle Shoals' Fame Studios with producer Walt Aldridge, issuing a single, "I Loved Her First," in 2006. The song, written by Aldridge with Elliott Park, is a poignant ballad of a father's love for his daughter and seems destined to become a standard at country weddings and receptions until the end of time. An album, also called I Loved Her First, followed later in 2006. In early 2009, Mike Myerson decided to leave the group and they continued on as a five-piece.