Album Review: The Time Jumpers — The Time Jumpers
Run, don’t walk, to your nearest record store to buy this album. From the time you drop the needle on the record’s first groove until the album’s final fiddle runs, you’ll be dancing, laughing, crying, and wonderstruck, but mostly, you’ll be swept away by the virtuosity and the creative genius of this tight and group of musicians.
These eleven virtuoso players and singers, each a master musician in his or her own right, have been getting together for over fourteen years to noodle around and jam with friends on Monday nights (then the slowest night of the week) at the Station Inn in Nashville. Mondays weren’t the slowest nights for very long, as word traveled about these super sessions, and the jams have moved to a more spacious club, Third and Lindsley, but not before The Time Jumpers honed their craft, releasing a live album, Jumpin’ Time, to Grammy-nominated acclaim in 2007.
On their first studio album, The Time Jumpers deliver ten rollicking, driving, lighthearted, and mournful tunes—seven of them originals—that showcase the band’s love of Western swing music and their way with a well-turned lyric. If all we had were the album’s opening song, “Texoma Bound,” then it would be enough. There are moments when a piece of music lifts you out of yourself and carries you along palpably along a wave of lyrical spirit. As the triple fiddles weave in and out of each other’s lines, coming together for a moment and then soaring off in their own decided directions, it’s impossible not to be swept away with the infectious joy of the musicians as they play off of each other.
Every member of the band gets a turn to shine on this album. In “So Far Apart,” which recalls stylistically Patty Loveless’ “You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are,” Dawn Sears, whose voice channels Kitty Wells, achingly mourns over “wasting the love we’re not making, sweetheart, for we’re too close to be so far apart.” Sears’ classic country ballad follows fast on the heels of Vince Gill’s up tempo lament, “The Woman of My Dreams,” in which Paul Franklin’s crying steel guitar carries Gill’s moans: “Here comes the heartache/Here comes the pain/She was my baby/She was my everything/There goes the woman of my dreams.” In a slow country shuffle, “Three Sides to Every Story,” the singer admits, with a tone of resignation and comic irony, the complexity of the forces that led to the breakup of a relationship: “Someday we’ll both admit it/There’s three sides to every story/Your side, my side, and the truth.”
There’s not a bad song on this collection. The music simply reaches out and grabs listeners, sweeping in and carrying us along at breakneck speed over the hills of Western swing, around the corners of jazz, through the hollows of country, and into the valleys of pop. It’s a whirlwind journey that gets wonderfully repeated with each drop of the tone arm.
- Juli Thanki: D'oh, in my undercaffeinated state, I forgot another one of my favorites, from Darrell Scott's Modern Hymns: http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Believe-Acts-Like-Never/dp/B001DAFOBG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369401978&sr=8-1&keywords=darrell+scott+i+don%27t+believe+you
- Jon: Good call on "Ring Them Bells," though.
- Jon: Now, I'll tell you what, you missed one of the very best, which is the Country Gentlemen's version of "Walking ...
- Arlene: There are so many terrific ones to choose from but with the classics by The Band and Hendrix already mentioned, ...
- Jonathan Pappalardo: I've always liked Dixie Chicks version of "Mississippi," which they released on their live album.
- Jeremy Dylan: There are many choice Dylan covers out there, but my picks of the bunch would be The Byrds take on ...
- Doug Gilliland: Can't say for sure if these artists are currently unsigned, but I would love to hear new material from Kathy ...
- Rick: Opry Alert! I'm guessing(?) tonight marks the end of the spring season of the Thursday Night Classic Country Opry shows ...
- bob: Thanks for the info on the PBS Carole King concert. It will be good to see Trisha Yearwood sing again.
- Jon: Nope.