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Ed Burleson is a baby-faced, sixth-generation Texan who works construction by day and crafts traditionally minded honky tonk by night. He has counted among his supporters the late Texas legend Doug Sahm, who served as Burleson's manager and co-produced his My Perfect World album. For that effort, Burleson was also joined by such elite Texas players as Bill Kirchen (Commander Cody) and Lloyd Maines, among others.
Burleson, a descendant of General Edward Burleson, a war hero from the Texas independence Battle of San Jacinto, was born on June 10, 1969. Burleson's father was a salesman, so Burleson grew up in various locales around Texas — Garland, Denison, Conroe, El Paso — as well as in Tulsa, OK. Burleson eventually settled in Lewisville, TX, where he was on the high school rodeo team. It was traveling to rodeos and listening to small-town radio that introduced him to Texas music. Burleson won a rodeo scholarship to Hill College in Hillsboro, TX, and it was there that he first started learning guitar. Upon graduation, he acquired a knee injury that needed surgery. While recovering, his love for playing country music grew. He first started playing at a newcomer's showcase at the Three Teardrops Tavern in Dallas. The owner told Burleson if he could put a band together, he could play every Thursday night. (The drummer for that band was his father, Richard Burleson.) Burleson's first CD was 1997's Comin' Around. One night at the Broken Spoke Saloon in Austin, Burleson gave a copy of the album to Doug Sahm, who was so impressed that he became Burleson's manager. Sahm also polished up the CD and released it on his fledgling Tornado Records label. That effort, 1999's My Perfect World, hit number four on the Americana charts.