Songwriter Jack Tempchin probably is best known for having a hand in penning two classic early Eagles hits, “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Already Gone,” but he’s also a rather prolific solo artist in his own right. Tempchin has just released a new full-length solo album titled Learning to Dance, part of a deal he recently signed with Blue Elan Records.
Jack tells ABC Radio that prior to the new record deal, he’d been releasing his albums himself via the Internet, but having the backing of a label “really inspired” his creativity.
“My brain exploded with millions of new songs, and I thought, ‘Hey, somebody cares,'” he says.
Learning to Dance is made up of a dozen well-crafted and melodic tunes that Tempchin either wrote by himself or collaborated on with various other songwriters. He says that as he gathered the tunes together for the new record, he realized that a running theme was emerging: that of love in different stages of a person’s life.
“There’s a few songs about the euphoria of early love, and then when reality starts to come into it…and then it goes through just all the various changes of love,” Jack explains to ABC Radio. He adds that when he looked at the collection of songs as a whole, he thought, “Anybody of a certain age who’s gone through a few of these [experiences], they’re gonna listen to the album, they’re gonna go, ‘I’ve been through every one of those doggone things.'”
A few months before the release of Learning to Dance, Tempchin issued a four-song EP on Blue Elan titled Room to Run that included tunes he felt didn’t fit into the theme of the album. His main collaborator on both the EP and the album was a multi-talented young musician named Joel Piper, who produced and mixed Learning to Dance, played all the instruments on the album, contributed backing vocals and even co-wrote a couple of the songs. Jack credits Joel’s knowledge of new studio technology with helping to bring some modern sounds to his old-school folk-rock style.
While many of the songs on Learning to Dance are recent compositions, a few are older tunes that originally appeared on other artists’ releases. Among these are “I Volunteer,” a Tempchin co-write that was featured on Eagles singer Glenn Frey’s 1982 debut solo album; and “You Can Go Home Again,” which Jack penned with founding Byrds member Chris Hillman and appeared on a 1991 record by Hillman’s country group The Desert Rose Band.
Reflecting on his long and successful career, Tempchin tells ABC Radio that he considers himself a “lucky dog,” not only for helping to write two songs featured on the bestselling album of the 20th century — The Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) — but for having the chance to continue to put out new music this late in his life.
According to his website MyPeacefulEasyFeeling.com, Tempchin currently has two concerts on his schedule — a September 4 show in Carlsbad, California, and an October 17 gig opening for Desert Rose Band duo Hillman and Herb Pedersen in National City, California. Jack says he’s hoping to continue promoting Learning to Dance by eventually teaming up with another artist for a more extensive tour.