Tompall & the Glaser Brothers

The Award Winners/Rings and Things

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AllMusic Review by

Hux's 2012 two-fer Award Winners/Rings & Things combines Tompall Glaser's final two albums with the Glaser Brothers before he headed out on his own with 1973's Charlie. Tompall began to carve out an outlaw persona with Charlie, a stance suited to his omnipresent orneriness, but these LPs from 1971 and 1972 find the Glaser Brothers in decidedly poppier territory. Yes, there are hints of the outlaw sound scattered over these two albums -- Award Winners has a covers of Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night" and "Me and Bobby McGee," and concludes with a faithful version of Bob Wills' classic "Faded Love," while Rings has some more Western Swing -- but the hearts of these albums reside in Nashville. This is clearest on Rings, whose title track is a cover of a sugary AM pop hit by Cymarron. The Glaser Brothers followed the blueprint of the original fairly closely, and much of the rest of the album has a similarly sweet sound, an aesthetic that's applied even to songs of outlaws or heartbroken folk-tinged ballads. Far from sounding as if they're chafing at these Nashville restraints, the Glaser Brothers are comfortable in these lush settings, their harmonies easing into the tapestry of strings, keyboards, and acoustic and steel guitars. Award Winners isn't quite as sweet; it has a stronger folk underpinning, surfacing on a version of Anne Murray's "Snowbird" and rippling through the Kristofferson covers. But there's little question that both of these albums only hint at the ornery outlaw Tompall patented just a few years later and, naturally, that's the appeal of the two LPs: they're state of the art country-pop circa 1971 and 1972, charming because they embody their era and because the Glaser Brothers sound so good.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:14
2 3:35
3 2:50
4 2:24
5 6:40
6 2:47
7 2:32
8 3:05
9 2:47
10 3:12
11 4:43
12 2:20
13 2:14
14 2:40
15 2:53
16 2:58
17 2:23
18 2:08
19 2:00
20 2:24
21 2:03
22 3:48
blue highlight denotes track pick