The idea is a good one, so good that it's surprising Jack Tempchin hasn't done it before: sit down and record his own versions of hits that other musicians had with his songs. The reason why Tempchin is doing this in 2017 and not, say, 1997, is that his friend and colleague Glenn Frey passed in early 2016, and the singer turned plenty of Tempchin tunes into smashes, either on his own or with the Eagles. So many of the 14 songs on Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin are associated with Frey -- not just the title track but "The One You Love," "Already Gone," "Party Town," and "You Belong to the City" -- that it can sometimes play like a de facto tribute album to Tempchin's old friend, and that is part of its charm. Sometimes, Tempchin comes close to re-creating elements of the original recordings -- the keening sax line and icy sequenced drums of "You Belong to the City," the crunching six-strings of "Party Town," the sunset vibes of the title track -- but these versions are distinguished by his genial murmur, a crisp production, and heartfelt contributions by Janiva Magness, Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen, and Rita Coolidge. The presence of these four musicians helps underscore that Peaceful Easy Feeling comes from a place of warmth, and that cozy, laid-back vibe helps accentuate the fine construction of Tempchin's songbook.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine