Album Reviews

Jack Tempchin

Room to Run

Artist:     Jack Tempchin

Album:     Room to Run

Label:     Blue Elan Records

Release Date:     05/19/2015


After making his mark as a songwriter of note for the Eagles (“Already Gone,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling” et. al.) as well as for Tom Waits, J.D. Souther, Jackson Browne and other harbingers of the fabled Laurel Canyon sound, Jack Tempchin returns with a modest four song EP that bodes well for a full slate of promised upcoming new releases. Tempchin’s solo recordings have been somewhat hit-or-miss over the past few decades, but happily, Room to Run shows there’s been no lapse of quality from those earlier endeavours.

Both the title track and the song that follows, “Jesus and Mohammed,” reflect the same tattered sentiments that have always been a hallmark of his compositions, the former an especially affecting paean to his reckless youth (conjuring up the familiar imagery of wild horses running free), while the latter espouses the futility of religious warfare. “The High Cost of Hate (Let’s Make Some Lawyers Rich),” (a biting indictment of the way the legal system prospers from the misfortunes of displaced divorcees in particular) purveys a fiddle-fuelled country rock sound similar to the the Eagles. Tempchin loosens the reins slightly for the EP’s final entry, the jaunty “Summertime Bum,” but no matter. Room To Run looks to distant horizons and suggests that this distinguished songwriter has plenty more exceptional music yet to come.

—Lee Zimmerman

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