BAND DETAIL: Owen Temple
With grit and a grin, Texas-based singer/songwriter Owen Temple comes barreling
out of the Lone Star state with his new album Two Thousand Miles. The record,
produced by famed Texas-music legend Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks, Terri Hendrix,
Terry Allen), is a dusty backroads blend of heartache and hope. The album is
being released on a staggered schedule. It's been available since late summer as
a digital download on LoneStarTunes.com and will be released on iTunes in
December. The physical record releases nationally on Jan. 22, 2008.
It's just the latest bold move from the charismatic singer who strives to be as
innovative with the business side of his career as he is with his music. Temple
says, "The idea was to not put any barriers between the fans hearing the new
record right away - and then to let things grow from there."
If the growth of CD sales follows Temple's career arc - steadily upward - then
he'll soon be as well known to the rest of the country as he is in Texas. Since
his 1997 debut, General Store, he's been building fans, wowing critics and
winning accolades at a heady pace. His 2002 release, Right Here and Now sold
nearly 20,000 copies. His career's been picking up steam ever since. In fact,
just this year he won the prestigious B.W. Stevenson Songwriting Contest,
awarded every year in April at Poor David's Pub in Dallas, Texas. He's also been
a New Folk Finalist at the world-renowned Kerrville Folk Festival.
When his distributor went belly up before paying him for sales of Right Here and
Now, Temple decided to return to school and pursue a graduate degree in
psychology in Madison, Wisconsin. It's hard to beat the songwriting bug into
submission once it bites and the 31-year-old singer felt he'd left some business
undone. So, one class shy of getting his master's degree, he decided to go after
an advanced degree in making great music. A self-described family man, he
approached his wife about giving the music thing another go. With her blessing
he jumped back into the fire.
He reunited with Maines, who had produced his first two albums, and went into
the studio with a new batch of songs. To lay down tracks on the twelve new
Temple-penned original songs, Owen and Lloyd recruited Dixie Chicks music
director/chief guitarslinger David Grissom and a rock solid rhythm section made
up of Asleep at the Wheel drummer Dave Sanger and prolific bassman Glenn
Fukunaga. Austin music veterans Riley Osbourn and Richard Bowden lent B3 organ
and fiddle, respectively, to the songs. Folk music singer/songwriter Terri
Hendrix, cosmic cowboy Bob Livingston, and hard-working, up-and-coming songsmith
Gordy Quist laid down harmony vocals on the recording.
The results and Temple's growth as artist are evident throughout Two Thousand
Miles. He's at home in the gritty realism that harkens back to his songwriting
heroes like Steve Earle and Joe Ely. Rough and ragged characters on the edge
("Like We Still Care," "Demolition Derby") sit comfortably alongside heartfelt
ruminations on love ("You Want To Wear That Ring," "You Don't Have To Be
Lonely"). The stirring title track is a radio-ready, roll-down-the-windows
anthem that showcases a singer ready for prime time.
Owen Temple is a man and songwriter who has traveled thousands of miles,
literally and artistically. The new record has been a lifetime in the making.
Through all the miles and highways he's traveled, Temple has come to a new
beginning. One that finds him on the verge of greatness. And you can't get there
without putting the miles behind you.