- Released: May 19, 2009
- Label: Hux Records
- 1.Man Made of Glass
- 2.Star Studded Nights
- 3.Never Take Candy from a Stranger
- 4.Am I Gonna Have to Burn Atlanta Down
- 5.When I Die Just Let Me Go to Texas
- 6.Love Somebody to Death
- 7.I Can't Seem to Get the Hang of Telling Her Goodbye
- 8.Wedding Dress
- 9.I've Not Forgot Marie
- 10.Ain't No Good Chain Gang
- 12.I Really Didn't Have a Thing to Do Today
- 13.The Greatest Love Song
- 14.Kentucky Boy, California Man
- 15.The Family
- 16.Old Wore Out Cowboy
- 17.The Man That Turned My Mama On
- 18.He Brings Your Memory Back Again
- 19.Miracle Express
- 20.Give My Old Memory a Call
Personnel: Ed Bruce (vocals); Donna Sheridan, Phillip Forrest, Dennis Quartet Wilson, Dorothy Deleonnibus, Dottie DeLeonibus, Phillip Forrest, Tommy West, Dennis Wilson , Wendy Suits (vocals); Sheldon Kurland, Lennie Haight, D. Bergen White, Steven Maxwell Smith, Samuel Terranova, Roy Christensen, Virginia Christensen, Wilfred Lehmann, Steven Smith, Carl Gorodetzky, Marvin Chantry, Gary VanOsdale (strings); Pete Bordonali, Mark Casstevans, Dave Kirby, Henry Strzelecki, Jimmy Capps, Larrie Londin, Tommy Cogbill, Tony Migliore, Eddie Bayers, Robert Thompson, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, Hayword Bishop.
Audio Remasterer: Russell Pay.
Liner Note Author: Jon Philibert.
This two-fer combines Ed Bruce's 1977 album Tennessean and its 1978 sequel, Cowboys and Dreamers, on one CD. Bruce released these in the wake of Waylon & Willie's huge success with his "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," a song that helped break outlaw country into the mainstream, and Bruce followed in its path, creating records that offered a commercial spin on that sound but never found their way onto the charts. Tennessean picks up on the relaxed, masculine vibe of Waylon's ballads, but Bruce never sounds as macho as Jennings; he's so at ease in his skin he almost disappears into Buddy Killen's lush productions, turning the bulk of this into easy listening country. Of course, this means that it can sometimes flirt with schlock -- especially on the mawkish "Wedding Dress" -- but it also gets into the downright bizarre, as on Dennis Wilson's freakish "Never Takes Candy from a Stranger," a Baroque symphony of creepy loneliness. But the best of Tennessean occurs when the strings step back and it gets closer to pure country, as on the two stunners "Am I Gonna Have to Burn Atlanta Down" and "When I Die Just Let Me Go to Texas," two singles that should have been hits for Ed Bruce, but at least Tanya Tucker brought the latter up the charts later as "Texas (When I Die)."
Cowboys and Dreamers is cut from the same cloth as Tennessean, balancing relaxed, masculine, easy listening with a slow country swagger. This tips a little bit toward the former than the latter, lacking anything quite as pure country as "When I Die Just Let Me Go To Texas" -- although Tanya Tucker did find "The Man That Turned My Mama On" here, turning that into a hit later -- and displaying a greater '70s production flair in its strings and percolating rhythms, which help turn it into a softer experience. Again, this is appealing in a crossover country sense -- a crossover Bruce never achieved with this album -- and it's also a good period curio, although it doesn't quite seem like it's from the same singer who wrote "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine