Concert Review: The Time Jumpers at The Hamilton

Juli Thanki | February 11th, 2013

timejumpersI go to a lot of shows – between 75-100 a year – but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band make playing music look as effortless as The Time Jumpers did Thursday night at their first performance in Washington, DC (a town that Vince Gill praised for its vibrant country and bluegrass history, even if “y’all don’t do much politically.”)

Operating without a set list, the all-star band delighted a sold out crowd at downtown dinner club The Hamilton with two hours of timeless Western Swing. There were, of course, a number of Bob Wills covers, including “Sugar Moon,” “I Hear You Talkin’,” and “Corrine Corrina,” and a couple of unexpected song choices, like a swinging version of “Six Pack to Go” and fiddler Kenny Sears’ take on his former boss Mel Tillis’ 1970 hit, “Heart Over Mind,” interspersed among originals from the group’s self-titled, Grammy-nominated record.

The Jumpers have a few centuries’ worth of professional musicianship among them, and that experience radiated through every note played on every instrument. Perhaps the only misstep occurred when Vince Gill briefly forgot the lyrics of an otherwise gorgeous version of “Together Again,” singing, over Paul Franklin’s crying steel guitar, “The key to my heart is…somewhere.” He had enough charm to pull it off, though, joking, “It’s hard for a big fella to watch pizza after pizza go by.” The rest of the Time Jumpers subsequently delighted in busting their bandmate’s chops for the rest of the set, zipping through “food songs” like “Roly Poly” and “That’s What I Like About the South.” Gill may be the most famous Time Jumper, but the star of Thursday’s show was singer Dawn Sears, whose slow-burning delivery of “Faint of Heart” was a highlight in a concert full of them, and whose stunning take on the torch song “Sweet Memories” earned a standing ovation.

The Time Jumpers’ weekly gigs (first at the Station Inn, now at 3rd & Lindsley), what Kenny Sears calls their “Monday night therapy sessions,” have long been a Nashville treasure; it’s taken years for the band to hit the road, but the wait was worth every second.

  1. Dave D.
    February 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I love to hear Dawn Sears sing; it says a lot that she still stands out, given all of the talent she is surrounded by.

  2. Leeann Ward
    February 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Sounds like an awesome show! I’ve had the opportunity to hear Dawn Sears the two times that I’ve seen Vince in concert and she truly is impressive.

  3. Rick
    February 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Dang, I would love to see the Time Jumpers perform live! Somehow I don’t expect they will ever make it out to Los Angeles for a show due to logistics. Oh well….

  4. Anna Leighton
    February 16, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Love the Time JUmpers.Dawn Sears has a wonderful voice.She has sang with Vince for years .All the members are great musicians.Vince Gill surrounds himself with the best and they in turn have the best in him.He says all he ever wanted to do was be a musician .Way to go Vinny and way to go Time Jumpers .You got a fan here

  5. Anna Leighton
    February 16, 2013 at 7:30 am

    @Rick,They play every Monday night at rd.and Lindsey in Nashville.I wouldn’t count them out coming to L.A. either.

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