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The Time Jumpers

The Time Jumpers – 2012 (Rounder)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by The Time Jumpers

Visitors to Nashville who cruising the local clubs looking for "the real thing" the past 15 years often hear the Music City mantra "Check out the Time Jumpers." If you haven't heard the buzz about them, this collection of nearly a dozen A-list session players and backup sidemen (and one extraordinarily talented woman) started hanging out and playing together on Monday nights at the Station Inn (though they're recently outgrown it and moved to a larger venue). While their catalog features two previous live albums and a concert DVD, this self-titled disc is their first studio effort, and it's one of the most well-crafted and entertaining things in years, 12 Western swing-flavored tracks featuring powerful instrumental prowess and killer vocals.

Vince Gill is probably the most widely-known of the Jumpers (though he's a relative late-comer to the band), and while his contributions are substantial (his song Three Sides To Every Story is a standout country tear-jerker), he's far from the whole story. Suffice it to say that if you're the type who pays attention to liner notes and credits, names like Paul Franklin, Dennis Crouch, Kenny Sears, Andy Reiss, Larry Franklin (no relation to Paul), Joe Spivey, Jeff Taylor and Billy Thomas have more than a little meaning to you.

For those of us, however, who recall the solo albums Dawn Sears put out back in the '90s, listening to her here will again set the mind to wondering why she's not a household name - torching it up on So Far Apart highlights her as one of the best in the business. On top of that, you've got "Ranger Doug" Green yodeling, triple fiddles - did we mention Paul Franklin on steel? - and yeah, Gill is pretty good too. What more can you ask?