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Two Thousand Miles

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Album Review

This solid album first came out as a digital download on in 2007 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. ~ j. poet, Rovi


Born: December 4, 1976 in Kerrville, Texas

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s

The Texas-based singer/songwriter Owen Temple immersed himself in his father's country music collection at a very young age, learning to sing by listening to records by Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen, Jr., and James McMurtry. After relocating to Austin to attend the University of Texas, Temple began writing songs, intensely focusing on the craft of those who came before him. His debut album, General Store, appeared in 1997; Passing Through followed two years later. However, college...
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Two Thousand Miles, Owen Temple
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