Two Thousand Miles (El Paisano)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Feb. 8, 2008
Owen TempleTwo Thousand Miles (El Paisano)
Roots rock, alt.country, "Texas Music," call it what you want, but it's getting harder to breathe new life into a dying genre. A prime example is Two Thousand Miles, Owen Temple's fourth disc, in which he digs up the same old clichés, recycles riffs from heroes like Steve Earle and Joe Ely, and generally shuffles his way through 12 songs that sound as tired as he does. Even such stellar backup as David Grissom, Glenn Fukunaga, Dave Sanger, Terri Hendrix, and producer Lloyd Maines can't help Temple's attempts at being witty and observant. Robert Earl Keen gets away with speaking more than singing because his songs stand for something. The same trick doesn't work for Temple, who's stuck on drinking, the road, and the simplest kind of heart songs while trying too hard to make his words rhyme. He's not the worst at what he does, but Temple needs to travel many more miles before committing his ideas to disc again.