THE TIME JUMPERS’ ALBUM CELEBRATES COUNTRY TRADITIONS
by Stephen L. Betts – The Boot
The Time Jumpers’ now-legendary Monday night residency at Nashville’s quaint Station Inn is a thing of the past. The exuberant 11-member Western swing outfit, featuring country superstar Vince Gill among its ranks, can be found that night at the more spacious 3rd and Lindsley a short distance away. Now, with today’s (Sept. 11) release of their self-titled album on Rounder Records, the Time Jumpers are making even bigger strides toward a brighter future. But, make no mistake, they remain comfortably ensconced in the rich tradition of country music’s heritage.
Recorded at Vince’s home studio, with the entire band set up in a circle — and no isolation of their individual parts, which meant no chance to fix mistakes — the disc includes five original songs written by Vince, including the country ballad, “Three Sides to Every Story” and the achingly sweet “Faint of Heart,” with lead vocal by Dawn Sears. And true to their name, the album hops along with the jazzy “On the Outskirts of Town,” with Vince on lead vocals. (Download the tune for free here.)
The group, which also includes “Ranger Doug” Green of Riders in the Sky, has played host to special guests Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Norah Jones and Toby Keith, all of whom have taken a turn sitting in with them.
For Vince, the experience reminds him of the start of his career. “We split up the money after the gig behind the amps, just like the old days,” he tells the Portland Press Herald. “I like to joke, ‘It’s the only time I play in Nashville where I get paid.’ Every other gig is a benefit. I just love playing music. I don’t know why some people have to think that if they do well they can’t be what they used to be. I like being what I used to be.”
The Time Jumpers are: Dennis Crouch (upright bass), Larry Franklin (fiddle), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Vince Gill (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars), “Ranger Doug” Green (vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar), Andy Reiss (electric guitar), Dawn Sears (vocals), Kenny Sears (vocals, fiddle), Joe Spivey (fiddle, vocals) Jeff Taylor (accordion, piano) and Billy Thomas (drums, vocals).