Ed Burleson My Perfect World (Tornado)
Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., Dec. 3, 1999
My Perfect World (Tornado)We'll never know how Doug Sahm would have fared as an A&R man, but if Lewisville, Texas' Ed Burleson (his first signing to the nascent Tornado imprint) is any indication, his ear was as golden as his voice. Burleson's own voice is no slouch, either: a rich blend of Clint Black and Dwight Yoakam that glides effortlessly over the fiddle and steel arrangements like new boots on a freshly oiled dance floor. And none of those hokey pop card tricks or trendy alt trappings for this youngster, either: This is USDA-approved pure-dee honky-tonk music, the kind they made when Pearl beer cost a nickel and Hank, Lefty, and Ernest were on every jukebox in the greater Southwest. "Clinging to You" and "Closing Time" are both dander-raising two-steppers; slower ballads like "It All Started and Ended With You" and the title track are lonesome enough to start Roberto Benigni blubbering. A double-barreled salute is due Burleson's supporting cast (including Bill Kirchen, Alvin Crow, Ronnie Huckaby, and Sahm himself) for turning out such undiluted C&W of an all-too-rare caliber. This would be the perfect "young country" album if Nashville were actually interested in the "country" half of that equation. Since it's not, Burleson will, like he says on "Wide Open Spaces," just have to take comfort in "the things that make life worth livin', like Texas, family, and home." No wonder Doug Sahm was such a fan.