Album Reviews

Jack Tempchin

One More Song

Artist:     Jack Tempchin

Album:     One More Song

Label:     Blue Elan Records

Release Date:     09/02/2016

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Up until now, Jack Tempchin has never seemed in much of a hurry to make his own music. A prolific writer with a vast hit repertoire — among the many, “Peaceful Easy Feeling” for the Eagles, “Slow Dancing” for Johnny Rivers, “Smuggler’s Blues” and You Belong to the City,” each a cowrite with Glen Frey — his reputation for serving up personal, penetrating melodies gives him a near perfect reputation.

Nevertheless, Tempchin’s own output over the years has been scanty at best. He’s released records on an inconsistent basis for the past 20 years, and given the fact that he’s mostly recorded albums for minor labels, most of those have fallen well below the radar.

Happily though, things may be turning around. One More Song makes for a remarkably rapid follow-up to last year’s Learning To Dance, an album that seemed intent on reminding listeners of the role Tempchin once played in the musical mainstream. Sadly though, while the songs still sounded impressive, the slick production mooted any chance of maximizing the critical kudos.

Luckily, One More Song fares far better, and if the mellow tones seem to stifle the variety, the tenderness in these tracks makes up for any deficiency. A redo of “Slow Dancing” is a bit too precious in its approach, but if the song seems to drag, that alluring melody more than makes up for it. Other offerings also manage to hold their own, and anyone who claims they’re unaffected by “Singing in the Street,” “Old River,” “So Long My Friend or “I Got Her Right Where She Wants Me” obviously isn’t listening. So far, Tempchin seems to have greater success when others are carrying his songs, but with One More Song, at least he’s competing quite well.

-Lee Zimmerman

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