Oh boy. #fullboxofKleenex #joyfultearjerker = new album from Tempa & Naor Project … Ember’s Fire.
Highly recommended if you like: Nancy Griffith, Roseanne Cash, Brandi Carlile
Tempa is a former Denver blues singer of the highest regard. From 2000-2012, Tempa and the Tantrums was nominated for 5 Westword Music Showcase Awards, winning Best Blues Band in 2006. Tempa hosted an award winning (Best Allcomers Jam, WestWord Awards 2007) open mic and jam session for 8 years – one of which is where we first met Rob Drabkin.
Tempa fell in love and moved to Hawaii, but has always remembered those she was close to in our region. I’m honored to be among those folks – so much love and thank you Tempa.
Well, after all these years we have a new album from our friend – and it’s NOT what I would have expected. What any of us who frequented her jams might have reasonably been inclined to expect was a blues album, since that’s what Tempa & the Tantrums were – a blues band. Not so this album. Tempa & Naor seem to have mastered the Americana / country-folk-rock style with Ember’s Fire, their debut.
“Never Meant to Be A Love Song,” is the first radio “hit” on the album, a country song full of claps and folky rap with tasty use of dobro, fiddle, and a stompin’ singalong chorus. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if I heard this on KYGO (Denver) or KUAD (Northern Colorado) let alone any of the excellent Americana music shows throughout the state.
The rest of the album is a finely detailed and produced arrangement of love songs and ballads – including a very western sounding “Wyoming Highway” that could have come from Nancy Griffith.
There’s a beautifully restrained subtlety of passion and togetherness in Naor’s fine acoustic guitar work and Tempa’s boldly measured vocals throughout the album. It’s an album of love songs with Tempa displaying a voice perhaps we could not have imagined a decade ago, nor fully realized if she hadn’t fallen in love and moved to Hawaii.
“Never Meant to Be A Love Song” – shared with permission from Tempa & Naor