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Ed Burleson

My Perfect World – 1999 (Tornado)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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CDs by Ed Burleson

If you want right-down-to-your-pointy-boots credibility in the traditional country music category, consider the resume of Ed Burleson. Young Ed is a former rodeo rider, sixth generation Texas, branched from Gen. Ed of the Battle of San Jacinto, and his brilliantly honky tonk debut is produced by Doug Sahm (Sir Douglas Quintet, Texas Tornados), featuring performances by legends like Lloyd Maines, Bill Kirchen and Alvin Crow. If Burleson was any more country, we'd have to harvest him and sell him at market.

With avowed influences like Buck Owens, Ernest Tubb, and Willie Nelson, Burleson doesn't offer up a single scrap of big city alternative roots. This stuff is pure and uncut, full of cheating and pedal steel and broken hearts and fiddle and drinking and Texas. The title track and "Dreamworld" are Ray Price incarnate, "No Closing Time" is a map to the stars' homes in Bakersfield, and "Going Home to Texas" is a state-of-the-country roll call of things, people, and unique experiences that define the genre in its most distilled form.

If you're a Garth-come-lately to country music, the bourbon burn of this might be a bit much. But if you remember what made country music great in the first place, Ed Burleson is here to assure you that your memory is working just fine.