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CD review: The Time Jumpers 'The Time Jumpers'

Country supergroup The Time Jumpers come out swinging and never stay anything but true to their old-school musical passions on their self-titled debut on Rounder Records.
by Brandy McDonnell Published: September 14, 2012
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The Time Jumpers “The Time Jumpers” (Rounder Records)

Country supergroup The Time Jumpers come out swinging and never stay anything but true to their old-school musical passions on their self-titled debut on Rounder Records.

But the 11-piece Western swing outfit, which consists of Oklahoma-born and bred Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill and many of Nashville's top session players, isn't just covering old Bob Wills songs or paying tribute to his legendary Texas Playboys.

Even if you don't know them by name, The Time Jumpers — Gill (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars), “Ranger Doug” Green (vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar), Dawn Sears (vocals), Kenny Sears (vocals, fiddle), Dennis Crouch (upright bass), Larry Franklin (fiddle), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Andy Reiss (electric guitar), Joe Spivey (fiddle, vocals) Jeff Taylor (accordion, piano) and Billy Thomas (drums, vocals) — have already earned their stripes as musicians, but they also show off their skills as songsmiths on their first studio album.

Nine of the 12 tracks on the follow-up to their Grammy-nominated live album “Jumpin' Time” are new, original songs.

From the flurry of fiddles on the instrumental opening “Texoma Bound” to the wry humor of Kenny Sears' “Nothing But the Blues,” The Time Jumpers manage to make music that sounds simultaneously vintage and fresh, giving the album a timeless quality that allows it to exceed even the out-of-orbit expectations that their lofty reputations bring to a project.

The Western swing band, which was founded in 1998, crosses over into other classic genres, from the smoky jazz torch song “Faint of Heart,” which Gill co-penned but spotlights Dawn Sears' rich voice, to the bouncy cowboy song “Ridin' on the Rio,” which tips its hat to Ranger Doug's day job as frontman of the Grammy-winning “comedy and Western” group Riders in the Sky.

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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