Tempa reminiscent of Joplin | SteamboatToday.com

Tempa reminiscent of Joplin

Autumn Phillips
What: Tempa and the Tantrums When: 10 p.m. today and Saturday Where: The Tugboat Grill & Pub in Ski Time Square Cover: $5 Call: 879-7070.

It’s hard to listen to Tempa’s growling voice without thinking of Janis Joplin. Like Joplin singing “Cry Baby,” Tempa (who does not use her last name) is a good woman who’s unappreciated. She boils over into the microphone. She sings from the heart.

A reviewer at DenverLocalMusicScene.com wrote, “While you’re groovin’ to the music, you’re also going to be fixated on Tempa. The woman has some kind of weird magnetic stage presence that you can’t ignore.”

Tempa fronts a band called Tempa and the Tantrums that plays a brand of Southern-style blues mixed with a tinge of New Orleans zydeco.

“If you come and see us, you aren’t going to get a lot of fluff,” Tempa said. “It’s going to be real. I put everything I got into the performance.

“Sometimes my face isn’t so pretty because I’m singing about painful songs. Hopefully, it will make you feel what I feel.”

There aren’t many women who can sing with the passion that Tempa brings to the stage.

She chooses her songs by the amount of emotion she can bring to them.

“If I do a cover, it has to be something I believe in,” she said. She sings a version of Etta James’ “I’d rather go blind,” as it was sung by Chicago blueswoman Koko Taylor: “Baby, baby, baby, I would rather go blind/than to see you walk away from me.”

“If you’re going to sing about love and heartache, that’s the song,” she said.

In her own song writing, she tries to tell stories that people can understand. She recently finished a song titled “Miracle on Colfax” about something she saw while driving in Denver. On one side of the street was a church advertising “Get your miracle here,” and on the other side of the street, there were a couple of crack whores.

“They both want my money, but I’m not seeing much of a difference,” Tempa said. “So I took that thought and turned it into a song.”

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