Posted by: kubiakl | March 29, 2009

Seriously?

I don’t get it.  A YouTube search for Owen Temple turned up ONE video, a live acoustic performance in San Antonio.  Searching for his peers was a different story – Pat Green, Cory Morrow, and Roger Creager all had plenty of results.  Why is the superior singer/songwriter the unknown?

That’s right, I said superior.  Owen Temple ranks right up there with Townes Van Zandt and Robert Earl Keen on my list.  His songs paint full pictures inside your head and his voice draws you in with its honest quality.  The guy made two of the best Texas country/folk records I’ve ever heard, a third that was good but a little too slick, and a fourth I haven’t heard yet (but am downloading now).

Part of his unsung quality may be due to his career path.  He released his first two albums (“General Store” and “Passing Through”) while attending the University Of Texas, then left music behind when the distributor for his third record (“Right Here And Now”) went bankrupt before paying him.  He decided to put his finance degree to use since he had a wife and newborn.  After working as a financial analyst in Houston, he decided to head to Madison, Wisconsin to get a graduate degree in psychology.  With one class lacking on his Masters degree he decided to give music another go and hooked back up with Lloyd Maines, the producer of his first two albums.  That resulted in “Two Thousand Miles”, which Temple says is roughly the distance from Texas to Wisconsin and back.

I first heard about Owen Temple when I was at college – a friend loaned me his “General Store” CD and I was hooked.  I was lucky enough to see him play twice in Abilene and managed to talk gear with his lead guitarist after one of the shows.  It surprised me to learn that he was using a Line 6 digital modeler for his tones considering the old school sound Temple had, but hey – it worked for him.

The video I found was him performing the song “Swear It Off Again” from his newest record:

The songwriting didn’t strike me as some of his best (though it’s still better than many of his contemporaries), but his voice still has the same enthralling quality.  I highly recommend you check out more of his work at his website:

Owen Temple

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