As a songwriter, Jack Tempchin has had plenty of big hits with the Eagles, Glenn Frey, Johnny Rivers and others. But for his new solo album, One More Song, due Sept. 2 through Blue Elan Records, Tempchin preferred a smaller way of doing things.
“This is a lot less produced. It’s more back down to the man and the song,” Tempchin tells Billboard about the follow-up to last year’s Learning To Dance — an approach showcased in the track “Song For You,” which is premiered exclusively below. “I’ve got about four songs on this with bass and drums; The others are just me and a guitar, me and a piano,” he says. “I’m kind of getting back to my musical roots of the coffee house days, where it’s just a guy and a song. It just seemed like the last five, six years I’ve been playing solo instead of with a band, so it’s where I’m at. I go down to the beach and jam with my guitar every day, so that’s how I feel comfortable.”
One More Song is titled after one of the nine new songs on the set, which has previously been recorded by former Eagles‘ bassist Randy Meisner and Kate Wolf and performed live by Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt. The album also includes a re-recording of Tempchin-penned Rivers hit “Slow Dancing,” while the gentle, reassuring “Song For You” was co-written with Keith Harkin of Celtic Thunder and was inspired by Alex Woodard, creator of the For The Sender music and book initiative.
“He stopped writing songs for himself and started writing songs based on letters his fans would send him, and he put together a group of Grammy-winning friends of his to make an album, and I’m part of that group,” Tempchin says. “Basically other people’s lives are in trouble and he writes a song for them. So I was thinking about (Woodward) and what he does when I wrote ‘Song For You,’ and it all seemed to fit well together into a song.”
Tempchin is shooting a video for One More Song‘s title track and will be playing live throughout the year and into 2017. We won’t have to wait long for his next release, either; In January, Tempchin is putting out an album featuring recordings of the hits he wrote for others, as well as some songs intended for other artists that were never recorded. “I’m really excited about this album,” says Tempchin, who’s still in the recording process.
“I’m doing some of the songs just like the Glenn Frey version or just like the Eagles version, and then other songs I’m doing them a little bit differently. It just depends on how I want to hear them.” There will also likely be some songs he and Frey, who passed away in January, never got around to tracking. “There are a few of those, just songs I wrote with Glenn that never got recorded,” he says. “So I’m going to have a couple new Glenn Frey/Jack Tempchin songs that no one’s ever heard on this album, which I think will be of interest to a lot of people.”