Born and raised in Cleburne, Sonny Burgess was always surrounded by the customs commonly associated with traditional country music: growing up poor in a rural setting and being constantly exposed to the music of Hank Williams Sr., Glen Campbell and Roy Clark. Being a high school baseball star provided Burgess his first glimpse of fame, but he was always playing music, even while holding down day jobs as a substitute teacher and railroad worker. Finally, in 2001, Burgess got around to releasing When in Texas, a debut that got noticed in the holy hayseed city of Nashville even though it had more in common with Texas legends such as Willie Nelson and Doug Sahm. The sophomore effort, Stronger, released in 2005, more than lived up to its title as Burgess cherry-picked tunes from some of Nashville's most inventive (and least mulleted) songsmiths. Although Burgess comes across as appropriately cleaned and pressed, he is capable of digging deeper than your average country crooner. Here's hoping that his next release goes well beyond the easy associations to Randy Travis and into regions where good looks aren't anything special unless in the service of good songs.
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