Owen Temple
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Owen Temple

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
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Owen Temple: Mountain Home
May 1st, 2011
Country, folk, bluegrass and blues from talented Texas songsmith

Owen Temple’s last album, Dollars and Dimes, took its concept from the socio-political ideas of Joel Garreau’s The Nine Nations of North America. Temple wrote songs that explored the regional ties of work and cultural belief that often transcend physical geography, zeroing in on the life issues that bind people together. With his newest songs, he’s still thinking about people, but individuals this time, catching them as a sociologist would in situations that frame their identity in snapshots of hope, fear, prejudice, heroism, and the shadows of bad behavior and disaster. As on his previous album, his songs are rooted in actual places – isolated communities that harbor dark secrets and suffocating intimacy, a deserted oil town lamented as a lost lover, a legendary red-light district, and the Texas troubadours in whose footsteps he follows. The album’s lone cover, Leon Russell’s “Prince of Peace,” is offered in tribute to a primary influence.

Temple’s songs are sophisticated and enlightening, offering a view of the Texas west that’s akin to Dave Alvin’s meditations on mid-century California. He writes with a folksinger’s eye, observing intimate, interior details of every day life, and painting big, mythological sketches of Sam Houston and Cabeza de Vaca. The latter, “Medicine Man,” was co-written with Gordy Quist, and recently recorded by Quist’s Band of Heathens. Temple’s music stretches into country, bluegrass, gospel and blues, and he sings with the confidence of a writer who deeply trusts his material. Gabriel Rhodes’ production is spot-on throughout the album, giving Temple’s songs and vocals the starring roles, but subtly highlighting the instrumental contributions of Charlie Sexton, Rick Richards, Bukka Allen and Tommy Spurlock. Temple has made several fine albums, but taking intellectual input from Garreau seems to have clarified and deepened his own songwriting voice. This is an album that ingratiates itself on first pass, and reveals deep new details with each subsequent spin. - Hyperbolium


Owen Temple Returns to His Roots With Mountain Home

Mountain Home, the sixth studio record from Austin, Texas-based songwriter Owen Temple, is a collection of songs and stories about eccentric characters set in small towns and on the fringes of big cities. Mountain Home may be his strongest collection yet.

The characters are all on edge- on the verge of freedom, catastrophe, and hope- and the songs tell of strange happenings in rural landscapes both past and present.

Recorded with producer Gabe Rhodes, the album has the feel of a live performance with stellar contributions from Charlie Sexton on bass and baritone guitar, Bukka Allen on keyboards, Tommy Spurlock on pedal steel and drummer Rick Richards.

The project includes songs written by Temple and co-writes with Adam Carroll, Scott Nolan, and Gordy Quist (of The Band of Heathens). Temple’s love of folk, blues, and bluegrass shines through in the arrangements and the playing of his compadres.

“I love traditional music- old songs that cross time and space to tell you what the people cared about,” Temple says. “With my songs I'm trying to get down some of the stories of this place.”

Temple’s last album, Dollars and Dimes, hit #5 on the Freeform American Roots chart and #1 on the Euro Americana chart and earned raves for its uncompromising vision of the American dream’s darker side. On Mountain Home, Temple narrows his focus, honing in on the small towns and colorful characters of his home state. The basic tracks were cut live with minimal overdubs. Temple’s emotive singing brings the songs to vibrant life.

Mountain Home explores the lives of small time hustlers, politicians, hard scrabble farmers, wildcatters, and ne’er do wells that contributed to the colorful history of Southwest Texas. Tracks include the bluesy “Medicine Man,” the story of the mad conquistador Cabeza de Vaca; “Small Town,” a talking blues that captures the claustrophobia one feels in a community where everyone knows your business; “Desdemona,” a moody eulogy to an oil rush boomtown; “Old Sam,” a salute to Sam Houston that blends the facts and fiction that gave birth to Texas mythology; and the title track, a bluegrass shuffle that tells the story of a jailbird returning home after a 20 year stretch in the pen.

The songs on Mountain Home are vignettes of real life. Temple’s singing gives them a sense of time and place that makes you feel the hot dusty sun and the cold chill of the unforgiving night. The album captures the feel of the desperate dreamers who want to believe in their latest scheme, even as they feel reality breathing down their neck.

Owen Temple won the B. W. Stevenson Songwriting Competition sponsored by Poor David’s Club in Dallas and became a finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk competition in 2007. He’s known throughout Texas, the Midwest, and the Eastern US as a first-class songwriter, compelling performer and fine singer. Three of his previous albums, General Store, Passing Through, and Two Thousand Miles, were produced by Lloyd Maines and became regional best sellers.

Temple met multi-instrumentalist and producer Gabe Rhodes, son of singer/songwriter Kimmie Rhodes, in 2006. Rhodes became part of Temple’s touring band and produced Dollars and Dimes and Mountain Home. Temple and Rhodes will be touring to support the album. “I’m a songwriter out of the narrative folk tradition,” Temple says. “The songs I remember hearing years afterward, that stick with me longest, are songs that have taken me places, that allow you to travel with the story. I hope to continue that tradition, to pass that experience on.” - Artist Bio


Temple, who records with a small, tastefully restrained country-folk band, sings with the accessible, intimate voice of a born storyteller. The melodies are simple, even skeletal, but the characters, however quickly sketched, feel rounded and complex in the real way of us complicated humans The desolate desert landscape of the Southwest is as much a character as are any of the lost souls who struggle to survive in it. None of the songs are second-rate, and some -- the title tune, the unsettlingly unsentimental "Small Town," "One Day Closer to Rain" -- start to turn something like spectacular along about the second or third hearing.

It's always a marvel to hear somebody this worth hearing whom one hasn't heard before. Any more of this, and Owen Temple could become a habit. - Rambles.net


The title cut to Owen Temple's sixth studio release, Mountain Home, pretty much sets on display what's to be found throughout the disc: folk / roots music sometimes snappy, mostly laid back, but always heartfelt and singing to the common and uncommon aspects of everyday life—and to those laying just outside, including the enigmatic cipher (actually Cabeza de Vaca though the paradigm fits many) querulously sidling through Medicine Man. Temple's not much concerned with celebrity nor politics but rather the spirit of the life of the underside of the middle class where dreamers, drifters, heroes, and fuck-ups dwell. While relatively spare, there's a slow irresistible eddying effect to *Mountain Home* that subtly drags the listener to the outskirts of town.

The opening lines to Fall in Love every Night kinda collect the existential bric a brac Temple scribes to: "Boots and rhinestones / Canadian tuxedoes / Honky tonk zeros / Neon lights / Rocky Mountain beer signs / Parking lot Thunderbird wine" and the myriad gewgaws collected and stored in the escritoire drawer, always exerting their influence even when hidden away. Tommy Spurlock, who's played for Delbert McClinton and Rodney Crowell, caresss a particularly sensuous and lachrymal pedal steel, and Rick Richards' drumming is strongly reminiscent of David Kemper's work for Leo Kottke's Time Steps, but the whole band works organically, keyed in on Temple's voice and guitar, unhurried but quite knowing of the milieu the front man's shuffling through. They've been there too.

The version here of Leon Russell and Greg Dempsey's Prince of Peace removes the drunken bayou rave-up that Russell always tended towards and cleaves more closely to a fuller sense of the lyrics: the Christian version of the zen sentiment that all humans are fallen gods and goddesses, thus injure them at your karmic peril. There's a compelling Everyman aspect to Temple that digs in under the skin and grows with each listen. In a better marketplace, he'd already be well acclaimed, with plenty of air time.
- Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange


1. It might be an understatement to say that "Memphis is not what it used to be", as Owen Temple repeatedly does in "Memphis", from his recent release Dollars and Dimes. In fact, most of America is not what it used to be. Dollars and Dimes is not a nostalgic record, rather, it delves into the small stories that inhabit the forgotten areas between our big cities, and in doing so, finds the stories that make America what it is: land of freedom, land of hope, land of failure, land of dreams, and on and on and on.

2. Opening with a flurry of producer Gabe Rhodes' chiming guitars, Temple encapsulates the experience of leaving Arkansas and heading across that glorious bridge over the Mississippi in search of a better opportunity. His female protagonist leaves after her "mom's boyfriend and a tornado tore up her home". She "left behind her old clothes", and dumps pictures along the highway, symbolically shedding her identity and seeking to reinvent herself. Unfortunately, few jobs are available and she is forced to use her body, which she had "learned how to use", at a seedy club in order to make ends meet. There is a commentary here on the moral degradation of the city, but the same words ring true: "Memphis is not what it used to be." Regardless of the nature of her work, his lead character makes "three thousand a week" before the government shuts it down in a drug raid, and things get tight again. After she makes plans to move to Houston, Temple reveals his interaction with her -- asking "what else in town" he should see, before she shuts him down with the same caveat heard so many other times: "Memphis is not what it used to be".

3. I don't think that Owen Temple is picking on Memphis, but rather making a statement about the fading glory of middle America. Over Hunt Sales' thudding drums (which also graced Iggy Pop's Lust for Life and David Bowie's Tin Machine), he tells the story of someone in search of the American dream who finds something entirely different. This might be something that more people can relate to in these times rather than "reality" television or the misleading jargon of politics. Temple finds an America that is personal -- one not defined by state lines as much as the people that inhabit them. Things might not be that different in Memphis than they were in Arkansas, or than they will be in Houston if there isn't personal change. That is a refreshing thought for our country, and I would be glad to hear more songs like this. - Sounds Country / No Depression


Owen Temple's new disc is twelve tracks of longing for his native Texas. Temple wrote these catchy tunes while living for two years in Wisconsin, far away from his adopted hometown of Austin.

His songs, even the rowdy ones, barrel straight through the roadhouse on the way to better, safer places, like the center of a woman's heart. He has a curl of Townes Van Zandt's spoken-word style of singing, which lifts the sincerity and power of his lyrics.

"I Just Can't Quit Loving You" lopes behind producer Lloyd Maines' patient pedal steel. "Love is harder on me that anything else I've tried," he sings. His other songs show he's tried a whole lot else. "Demolition Derby" demonstrates the wreckage that happens when lovers collide. "Swear It Off Again" doesn't dismiss what you might think (alcohol); instead, it's a a tender resignation of dreams.

But as dirty and desperate as Temple can get, he can't hide his good nature. The first track, "You Want To Wear That Ring," is a redemptive shout-out that rides high on David Grissom's guitar and the thunderous drumming of Dave Sanger.

-ANDY MOORE - No Depression


Dollars and Dimes (El Paisano Records), the new disc from Texan Owen Temple is an artful shot of reality, as told through the memory and perspective of a traveler with perhaps more questions than answers. Drawing on the current socio-economical climate, Temple has crafted an album that will remind many that story-telling can be relevant and revealing when looking into times of crisis.

The opening notes of the opening track, “Broken Heart Land”, set the stage for the entire album. Temple’s warm tone is reminiscent of Josh Ritter’s (another great story-teller) when he hits his lower notes. In that vocal tone, Temple begins by asking, “How did your past get stuck in a pawnshop?“. Where Ritter can often spin his yarns through poetry that contains a bit of literate complexity, Temple unfolds his poetry in a more straight-forward, plain-spoken manner. Temple’s tales of plain-folk facing ever-mounting pressure and continuing complication are more subtle and respectful methods of informing the listener on various hardships that are being experienced than the recent, cliched and heavy-handed pandering that the likes of John Rich and Hank Jr. have produced lately. By writing and singing about the assorted issues from a somewhat detached point of view, Temple never reaches the insincere depths of Rich or Hank Jr., as they arrogantly crown themselves champions of the disenfranchised middle and lower class who aim to lead a simple life and possibly stick-it-to-the-man if they can.

From there, we practically go on a tour of the great 48 (and beyond even). “City of The King”, “Memphis” and “Los Angeles” showcase sad and somewhat desperate scenarios. “Making a Life” brings in the hopeful glimmer as it reminds us that actually having anything of real value is indeed rare.

Where Temple’s previous release, Two Thousand Miles, was a true Texas Country album that discussed rodeos, tequila and love that lasts, Dollars and Dimes is a Singer/Songwriter record that leans on folk-rock arrangements to great and appropriate effect. While, at times, the predominant theme and vibe of each individual track can feel a tad redundant, the well-told and developed stories inside of each number helps the album avoid that trap as the cohesiveness of the songs subject matter truly turns into a theme, rather than a random bunch of songs describing various people going through random and various tough times. - Twangville / The Gobbler's Knob


AMG Album Pick

This solid album first came out as a digital download on LoneStarTunes.com in 2006 and, later on, on Lone Star Music, where it landed in the Top Ten alongside albums by Ryan Bingham and Shooter Jennings. The tunes may be older, but none of them sounds dated, either musically or lyrically. Owen Temple has been called a country artist, but he could just as easily be called folk, rock, Americana, or singer/songwriter. He crafts sprightly melodies and marries them to great lyrics full of insight and plainspoken poetry. He's also quite funny, which may hamper him in the marketplace, where humorous singers are often dismissed, but there's enough of an edge to his tunes to keep you from taking his humor seriously, if you will. Temple has a pleasing midrange voice that's able to imbue the pictures he paints with the sense of veracity that makes his songs come alive. "You Want to Wear That Ring" is a fine example of Temple at his best. He's giving advice to a buddy who's getting married, and while the tune suggests "I Fought the Law (And the Law Won)" the advice is heartfelt and unsentimental. Love he says "feels good except when it feels bad," but if you have love in your heart "you want to wear that ring." On "I Just Can't Quit Loving You" he lists off all the things he's given up, including smoking, drinking, and drinking out of the milk carton. It's a song any man in a long-term relationship can relate to, and again comes to the conclusion that love's worth the struggle. "Can't Drink Enough to Sing" tells the tale of a songwriter who can't perform, despite the encouragement of his girlfriend and a few shots. It's a telling portrait of the creative struggles many artists face. "The Pluto Blues" uses the demotion of Pluto from planet to huge rock as a metaphor for the changes in life people don't want to face up to. He also uses Gary Coleman, the child star who grew up to be a pauper because his parents spent his millions without his consent. A gambit like that can be risky, but Temple pulls it off with insight and compassion. The album closes with "On the Lonesome Road," a bluegrassy rock tune that channels Woody Guthrie to celebrate the ups and downs of a traveling musician. Producer Lloyd Maines keeps things simple with a straightforward country-rock sound that lets Temple's voice and his impressive songwriting shine. - All Music Guide


City folk might describe their economic plight in terms of shuttered restaurants, dwindling sales numbers and shrinking retirement funds.

But while he has lived in Dallas, Austin and even New York City, Texas songwriter Owen Temple documents the pawned guitars, crumbling factories and rusted towns of the "Broken Heart Land" that gives his album its theme (and the opening song its title). Veterans sell weed to kids and tell dirty jokes. Girls lie about their age to get on the pole and dance to the drugs and music—in that order. A sentimental encounter with a past love in "Quiet Look" and a visit to his old stomping grounds in "Golden Age" throw his current desperation into stark relief, but thanks to simply yet vividly developed real-world characters, the relentless melancholy doesn't get old.

Rather, Dollars and Dimes is comforting in its gloom and nostalgia, and the moody, understated accompaniment from producer Gabriel Rhodes and backing players fits the mood like an old pair of Levi's. "I just can't get paid," Temple sings in "I Don't Want to Do What I Do." City or country, who can' t relate to that sentiment these days?
- Dallas Observer


Texas born and bred singer/songwriter Owen Temple is a country artist, but like Townes Van Zandt, another Texas songwriter he's often been compared to, Temple is as much folk as country, with a finely honed lyrical sense, a wry sense of humor, and a knack for blending melancholy melodies with ingenious wordplay that can conceal as much as it reveals.

This album was written and recorded between July 2008 and January 2009, and deals with the current economic downturn.

Most of the songs are taken at a measured tempo and despite the gloomy subject matter, they manage to be uplifting, a tribute to Temple's songwriting craft.

"Broken Heart Hand" refers to the heartland of America and could be a song about a man, a city, or a country, a slow poignant ballad Temple sings in his low register with a trace of weary resignation while producer Gabriel Rhodes adds melancholy sustained chords on his B-3.

"Black Diamond" paints the portrait of a dying coal-mining town with sharply etched sketches of citizens trying to come to terms with the decay that's slowly consuming the lives they thought were going to last forever.

"Making a Life" has the kind of lyrical hook that great country songs are built on: "Making a life, not just a living." It's a great song and could find favor in Nashville with any singer with the desire to cover tunes that speak honestly about hard luck and hard times.

"Golden Age" takes a look back at Austin, TX, before it started getting torn up by redevelopment, a nostalgic ballad that doesn't sugarcoat the good old days when times were bad, to plagiarize a phrase.

Most of the tunes on the album are somber, as befits the subject matter, but Temple always finds a glimmer of hope, even in the most depressing scenarios. Still, even when Temple does rock out, he's not delivering anything particularly uplifting.

"Memphis" has a sprightly tempo and strong electric guitar work by Will Sexton, but the tale it tells is of a country girl trying to make her living working in sleazy strip bars full of drunks, druggies, and women a step away from prostitution. Temple keeps the song from being a total downer with a dose of dark humor.

"I Don't Want to Do What I Do" is a country-rocker that conveys the thoughts of a doctor, lawyer, and used car salesman dealing with the recession and their fading dreams. The sprightly tempo makes a good contrast to the song's downbeat message.

Temple was at university training to become a psychologist when he dropped out to pursue his muse, and his ability to deliver telling insights without resorting to clichés or obvious images marks him as an original voice. - All Music Guide


Texas singer-songwriter Owen Temple has delivered one of my all-time favorite travel albums with "Dollars and Dimes," released last month on El Paisano Records.

Temple used the 1981 book The Nine Nations of North America as a template for his music. Author Joel Garreau contends that North America can be divided into nine regions, or "nations." He says borders between states are irrelevant and regions are better defined through economic and cultural identity.

» Click to enlarge image

Owen Temple used the book The Nine Nations of North America as the template for his album "Dollars and Dimes."



It's a perfect soundtrack for an Independence Day weekend.

Chicago, for example, falls into Garreau's "The Foundry" region, which clusters industrial cities of the Great Lakes as well as Southern Ontario with Toronto as its hub. Detroit is the capital of "The Foundry."

Then there's "Ecotopia," Garreau's green region of Washington state, Oregon, Alaska south through British Columbia and California north of Santa Barbara. San Francisco is the capital of "Ecotopia."

Texas? It's always been into maverick thinking like this.

Last year Temple and his Texas producer-guitarist Gabe Rhodes (Billy Joe Shaver, etc.) rented a Subaru and embarked on a tour of the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast.

"There was something about hitting all those regions without coming home," said Temple, 32, a native of Kerrville, Texas. "We started trading ideas about where the cutoffs were. Some people argue that when you see a Waffle House you are in the South. When we saw numbers on the back of the cars we knew we were in NASCAR country."

The album's concept took a deeper turn when Temple mentioned The Nine Nations of North America, which was a reading tip from fellow Texas songwriter Brian Rung. "It's about hard times and is very relevant now," Temple said. "The book was fun, like, 'We're going to Ecotopia.' But I saw the author's bigger point, which is that states don't make much sense where changes happen. What's the difference between the Panhandle of Texas and Oklahoma? Nothing, unless you're talking about college football."

Spiritually, it can be argued the nine nations converge in Chicago.

The "Dollars and Dimes" dramatic cover art was shot from an airplane by Chicago photographer Jonathan Lurie.

"I was looking for something that looked like any city, but a special city," Temple said. "I was looking at aerial pictures on Flicker and [was] sure I was going to be charged like $4,000."

Turns out all Lurie asked was that Temple make a donation to the Children's Place Association to use the photo he calls "Gotham of the Midwest."

"That's why this has been an inspiring project," Temple said. "He's a Chicago native and now he's a friend."

Connections are always made in travel.

"The book did a good job of explaining cities at the edges," said Temple, who lived in Madison, Wis., in 2005-2006 while getting his master's in psychology at the University of Wisconsin. "There's definitely farming in Wisconsin, yet there's parts of Wisconsin that have more to do with the Great Lakes. Certain cities are intersections of these regions. Indiana, for example, has a southern Dixie thing, an industrial end on the north side and even a Heartland growing thing in the middle."

"Dollars and Dimes" features 11 songs delving into distinct regions of North America, running from Winnipeg to Memphis to Los Angeles.

Temple wrote "Broken Heart Land" with Indiana songwriter Jeff Burkhart, who relayed a story about a train trip he took through the dried up town of Eden, Ind. It's the jangly leadoff track on the record and begins with Temple's up close vocals: "How did your past get stuck in a pawn shop/Seems everything you owned is held in hock."

"Quiet Look" is a ballad about the permanency of place in a world of change. The chorus is adapted from William Carlos Williams' 1934 poem "The Revelation."

The album's title track is getting the most action on Americana radio -- which doesn't exist in Chicago. Co-written with Adam Carroll (and Temple harmonica player), the song is an ode to the sharecroppers who took the backroads from the Delta to secure jobs in Chicago, and the migrant workers and labor camps that built railroads and levees along the Mississippi River. They all worked for "Dollars and Dimes."

Temple explained, "This record is about regions or people in dire straits in these regions, trying to get their bills paid: whether it is a St. Louis prostitute [in 'City of the King'] or the guy in 'Black Diamond' trying to figure out how to get money to get out." A black diamond is a lower-valued dark diamond used in industry for drilling. Temple and Carroll spent time in Black Diamond, a small town in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.

"I like songs that transport you," Temple said. "A good song has a setting. It's not just 'You and I and me' and words that don't mean anything unless you got somet - Chicago Sun-Times


This Texas-based singer-songwriter has released four albums over the past decade, with a five year work-and-school hiatus between 2002’s “Right Here and Now” and the local release of this disc back in 2007. Like many who travel within the self-contained universe that is Texas country music, he emerges into the national spotlight with a lot more depth and polish than listeners expect to hear in their first brush with an artist. But four albums into his career, Temple’s a memorable songwriter with a country-folk-rock sound that has the sort of sing-a-long middle-American earthiness of John Mellancamp’s hits and Steve Earle’s Guitar Town. Lloyd Maines’ production keeps Temple’s lyrics and voice as the central motor, but guitarist David Grissom is given space to add some hot-shot electric licks.

The album opens with Temple’s clever consideration of matrimony, advising a querulous groom with frank humor about the yin and yang of married life. The pains of love are also essayed in “I Can’t Quit Loving You,” in which the protagonist enumerates all the bad habits he’s given up, save the one in the title. Bad love and love gone bad are the themes of “Red Wine and Tequila” and “Like We Still Care,” respectively; the former is a bluesy tune that offers a bar-lit realization that some relationships are as ill-fitting as a bad combination of spirits, while the latter is a clear-eyed look at the chilly end of a failed relationship. Another couple’s ending is rendered in clever analogy as the carnage of a “Demolition Derby.”

Temple can turn from clever to funny, yet still remain touching. He chronicles a stage-frightened amateur on “Can’t Drink Enough to Sing,” and laments the re-categorization of Pluto as a non-planet by way of Gary Coleman’s fall from stardom (“a trip from the top to rent-a-cop can make you feel insecure”). The album closes with two of its strongest songs. “Rivers Run From Many Waters” is a mid-tempo fiddle waltz (with some terrific electric guitar from David Grissom) that opens with the evocative couplet “My great grandfather was a rake and rambler / Good with the women but not a good gambler,” before working down the family tree to his grandfather, father and son. Closing the disc is the traveling musician hoe-down “On the Lonesome Road,” featuring some fine acoustic flat picking. This album is a real treat for anyone seeking honest country music with folk and rock sides, unaffected by both Nashville’s commercial intentions and alt.country’s anti-Nashville response. [©2008 redtunictroll at hotmail dot com]
- Angry Country


“Texas-spawned Owen Temple backs his singer-songwriter wordplay with bright-yet-burly country sounds. A perfect example is "This Ain't Las Vegas," from 2002's Right Here and Now, a playful gambling metaphor backed with a thudding beat and polished guitar crunch. His show is recommended..."

"even the most familiar sounds of country music can feel energetic again... Temple's songs about drinking, love, and rodeos get a shiny, bright and burly treatment" on the latest release.”
- A.V. Club - The Onion


MAVERICK MAGAZINE

Owen Temple
Two Thousand Miles
El Paisano Records

4 stars
Superb third release that
should propel this Texan singer
songwriter way beyond the Lone
Star State

A new name to some (indeed to me), but what a pleasant surprise TWO THOUSAND MILES was. After his previous
distributor went belly up before paying him for sales of his previous album, Owen Temple decided to leave the music
business and concentrate on gaining a degree in psychology. The will to make music never went away and shortly before
finishing his course Owen asked his wife if it was okay to give the music business another shot, thankfully for us, she said yes.

For reference points, think Brad Paisley, Jon Randall and Kevin Montgomery, country singer-songwriters of the
highest calibre and now you can add the name Owen Temple to the list. Opening track, the radio friendly You Want To
Wear That Ring is superb, a great observation of love and marriage, complete with lovely guitar intro, the track rolls along
with a great chorus and is down home country-rock at its best. Owen wrote ten of the twelve tracks, the remaining two being
co-writes with Wade Bowen and Jay Alitzer and there isn't a weak track among them. I liked the opening track, but loved
the second cut, a song on the perils of mixing your drinks entitled Red Wine And Tequila, this song really hit me between
the eyes, blues country of the highest order and mention must be made of the excellent lead guitar work of David Grissom
on this track, and indeed the whole album. Talking of great musicians, just look at who else supports Owen on this
release, one of the best bassists around Glen Fukunga, Asleep At The Wheel drummer David Sanger and the legendary Lloyd
Maines carried out production duties as well as playing pedal steel, mandolin, Dobro and basically anything with a string
on it, Owen Temple certainly knows how to get a good band together. Combined with Terri Hendrix, Gordy Quist and Bob
Livingston supplying harmony vocals, what we have is a superb all round package.

Owen Temple has that great knack of writing lyrics that will mean something to every listener, and he also delivers them well with an easy to listen to voice. Stories of rough and ready characters on the edge feature on songs such as Like We Still Care and Demolition Derby, mixing well with heartfelt stories of love on tracks such as You Don't
Have To Be Lonely and the above mentioned You Want To Wear That Ring. Title track Two Thousand Miles is yet another radio friendly, wind down the window, driving anthem that showcases a singer ready to step out the shadows and into
the main arena. This release should do extremely well in the States and I believe that, given good promotion should do well here in the UK, it certainly won't be taken out of my CD player for a while yet. Highly recommended! - Maverick (UK)


A who's who that's shaped Texas country
12/26/2002
By MARIO TARRADELL / The Dallas Morning News


The best of the regional discs

Owen Temple, Right Here and Now (El Paisano) – No. 3 is the charm for Dallas-based singer-songwriter. More cohesive and accomplished than his first two efforts, it brims with memorable tunes such as "Accidentally Break My Heart" and "Move Around Money."

Billy Joe Shaver, Freedom's Child (Compadre) – Texas legend's first album for Houston-based Compadre Records is also his first effort since the death of his son, Eddy. Child is jubilant and autobiographical, honest and tuneful but never bitter. Amazing, especially when you consider what a downer it could have been.

Mark David Manders, Highs and Lows (Blind Nello) – Plano-based live wire turns introspective and reflective as he dissects his psyche in a most personal collection of tunes. The songwriting is stellar, particularly on "Suicidal Pigeon" and "Hell's Half Acre," and the musicianship is real; potent. His best album yet.

Sisters Morales, Para Gloria (Luna) – San Antonio-based siblings Lisa and Roberta Morales step away from their country background to dig through the traditional Mexican songbook for a thoroughly delightful set of boleros and rancheras. Sung completely in Spanish, the harmonies are supreme and the production by brothers Ron and Michael Morales is clean and airy.

Max Stalling, One of the Ways (Blind Nello) – Third disc from Crystal City, Texas, native offers a more mature batch of songs filled with his inimitable, easy-going style. Highlights include "The Beatles and the Thunder" and "Lay My Burdens Down," but there's not a dud in the bunch.

- Dallas Morning News


Owen Temple is one of the young Texas singer/songwriters who seems to be on the right track. From a story he tells about his dad buying a truck from a guy who left three 8-track tapes in it that just happened to be Willie Nelson's Greatest Hits, Johnny Cash's Greatest Hits, and Marty Robbins' Greatest Hits, which led to his first musical revelation; to later discovering Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen, and James McMurtry, the base of his musical education as well as his taste is solid to say the least. So when I put on Temple's latest release, Right Here and Now, and judging by the names he cites as influences, I expected to hear outlaw tales of people whose lives were a bit frayed at the edges, but instead found a highly polished collection of songs that, although much more intelligent than the usual fare, wouldn't sound out of place on most of mainstream country radio's playlists.

Right Here and Now is Temple's third release after General Store in 1997 and Passing Through in 1999, and, in all fairness, I have not heard either one of those CDs, so I can't be certain if his sound has changed much, if any, since those releases. It just seems that on this new release he is making a calculated effort to get radio play, which, after all, is the point of making recordings - - getting as many people to hear your music as possible - - so I don't mean that to be taken pejoratively. The 25-year-old also has the endorsement of Greg Trooper, so you know there is no danger of him ever being mistaken for one of Nashville's 34-year-old sensations who actually had a greatest hits collection out before discovering the artistic power of sleeveless shirts and Vaselined-on jeans that led them to next-big-thing status. No, Owen Temple has something to say and the talent to say it.

Owen Temple's voice has more than a slight similarity to Brian Burns', one of the truly great and underappreciated Texas singer/songwriters, but that is where the likeness begins and ends. Temple's songs never really venture into untoward territory or the darkened corner of the bar; instead, his strength seems to lie in philosophical musings. Like on "Little Sweet Loss," where he ruminates upon one of the experiences that is common to all Humanity, eventually.

There's something going on forever in everything around
Connecting everyone, every sight and sound
I can see through a glass darkly but someday face to face
What do I hope to find by the end of this race . . .

People you're passing on the street
They're friends you may never meet
And everybody's paid the cost
Of a little sweet loss

"No Daring is Fatal" is an inspirational song about not being afraid to take chances in love or any other aspect of life. I think this song shows Temple at his most poetic, and is a prime example of the kind of music country radio should be playing but won't, because it doesn't come anywhere near meeting the requirement for using the word "baby" and would cause the average CMT viewer to swallow their tongue through synaptic overload.

We've got one shot at life with no guarantees
We try to build a bridge to what we want to be
Dare to dream and dare to love
Dare to begin what you're thinking of

And our doubts are traitors and they make us lose
What we might win but for the fear to choose
All we can do is give it our best
And try to live life with no regrets

Now Owen Temple is not all elbow patches and goatee stroking, and on my favorite song on the CD, "For Old Times' Sake," he lets his humor rear its head. The song is about hearing from an old lover and the dilemma of whether or not it would be worth seeing her again. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for a twisted phrase.

You called and said let's get together again sometime
You said that lately I'd crossed your mind
It's been awhile since we've spoken
I'm pretty sure the last time our hearts got broken

We had something special once but now it's gone
Our lives intersected then we just moved on
I remember like a dream some beautiful days
Before we woke up and love slipped away
And I'd rather remember us the way it was then
Let's not even try to start things up again
The heat of old emotion would be too hard to take
So let's not meet for old times' sake

Right Here and Now is undeniably the work of an artist who is comfortable with his abilities. Owen Temple is not someone who is struggling to find a voice or a gimmick, he simply makes good, accessible, and smart country music. The kind more people should be listening to.

Go to www.owentemple.com for tour dates, sound clips, and to buy Right Here and Now as well as a few other various and sundry items.


- Rockzilla


A who's who that's shaped Texas country
12/26/2002
By MARIO TARRADELL / The Dallas Morning News


The best of the regional discs

Owen Temple, Right Here and Now (El Paisano) – No. 3 is the charm for Dallas-based singer-songwriter. More cohesive and accomplished than his first two efforts, it brims with memorable tunes such as "Accidentally Break My Heart" and "Move Around Money."

Billy Joe Shaver, Freedom's Child (Compadre) – Texas legend's first album for Houston-based Compadre Records is also his first effort since the death of his son, Eddy. Child is jubilant and autobiographical, honest and tuneful but never bitter. Amazing, especially when you consider what a downer it could have been.

Mark David Manders, Highs and Lows (Blind Nello) – Plano-based live wire turns introspective and reflective as he dissects his psyche in a most personal collection of tunes. The songwriting is stellar, particularly on "Suicidal Pigeon" and "Hell's Half Acre," and the musicianship is real; potent. His best album yet.

Sisters Morales, Para Gloria (Luna) – San Antonio-based siblings Lisa and Roberta Morales step away from their country background to dig through the traditional Mexican songbook for a thoroughly delightful set of boleros and rancheras. Sung completely in Spanish, the harmonies are supreme and the production by brothers Ron and Michael Morales is clean and airy.

Max Stalling, One of the Ways (Blind Nello) – Third disc from Crystal City, Texas, native offers a more mature batch of songs filled with his inimitable, easy-going style. Highlights include "The Beatles and the Thunder" and "Lay My Burdens Down," but there's not a dud in the bunch.

- Dallas Morning News


Discography

1997 General Store (produced by Lloyd Maines)
1999 Passing Through (produced by Lloyd Maines)
2002 Right Here and Now (produced by Phil Madeira)
2007 Two Thousand Miles (produced by Lloyd Maines)
2009 Dollars and Dimes (produced by Gabriel Rhodes)
2011 Mountain Home (produced by Gabriel Rhodes)

Photos

Bio

Mountain Home, the sixth studio record from Austin, Texas-based songwriter Owen Temple, is a collection of 10 songs about eccentric characters living extraordinary lives in small towns and on the fringes of big cities.

The characters are all on edge- on the verge of freedom, catastrophe, and hope- and the songs tell of strange happenings in rural landscapes both past and present.

Recorded with producer Gabe Rhodes, the album has the feel of a live performance with stellar contributions from Charlie Sexton on bass and baritone guitar, Bukka Allen on keyboards, Tommy Spurlock on pedal steel, and drummer Rick Richards.

The project includes songs written by Temple and co-writes with Adam Carroll, Scott Nolan, and Gordy Quist (of the Band of Heathens). Temple’s love of folk, blues, and bluegrass shines through in the arrangements and the playing of his compadres.

“I love traditional music- old songs that cross time and space to tell you what the people cared about,” Temple says. “With my songs I'm trying to get down some of the stories of this place.”

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Produced by Gabriel Rhodes
Recorded at Graceyland / Sunbird Studios, Austin, Texas

OWEN TEMPLE - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
CHARLIE SEXTON - Baritone Guitar, Bass
GABRIEL RHODES - Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Dobro, Piano
RICK RICHARDS - Drums, Percussion
BRIAN STANDEFER - Cello
BUKKA ALLEN - Piano, Organ, Accordion
TOMMY SPURLOCK - Pedal Steel Guitar
ADAM CARROLL - Harmonica
GORDY QUIST - Harmony Vocals
JAMIE WILSON - Harmony Vocals
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Praise for Owen Temple:

"Playing off North America's regions, travel album delivers concept richly- a perfect soundtrack for an Independence Day weekend" - Dave Hoekstra, Chicago Sun-Times

"Temple is as much folk as country, with a finely honed lyrical sense, a wry sense of humor, and a knack for blending melancholy melodies with ingenious wordplay that can conceal as much as it reveals... his ability to deliver telling insights without resorting to clichés or obvious images marks him as an original voice." - J. Poet, All Music Guide

"thanks to simply yet vividly developed real-world characters, the relentless melancholy doesn't get old. Rather, Dollars and Dimes is comforting in its gloom and nostalgia, and the moody, understated accompaniment from producer Gabriel Rhodes and backing players fits the mood like an old pair of Levi's." - Jesse Hughey, Dallas Observer

"an artful shot of reality, as told through the memory and perspective of a traveler with perhaps more questions than answers. Drawing on the current socio-economical climate, Temple has crafted an album that will remind many that story-telling can be relevant and revealing when looking into times of crisis." - Kelly Dearmore, Twangville

"He has a curl of Townes Van Zandt's spoken-word style of singing, which lifts the sincerity and power of his lyrics." -Andy Moore, No Depression

“Owen Temple writes polished country music, infused with folk traditions. What distinguishes his songs are lyrics that extend the plainspoken stories associated with the genre into a more nuanced psychological terrain.” - Isthmus (Madison, WI)