This is the second in my series of relatively quick posts featuring only one or two albums.
(Editorial note: I’ve noticed many of the youtube videos I’ve checked out recently come with a political ad. I hope none attach themselves to any of the videos I’m including in these posts. That’s the last thing I want to have sully your valuable music time.)
The Time Jumpers – Kid Sister
The Time Jumpers are an aggregation of several of Nashville’s best veteran studio musicians and back up singers who about ten years ago began performing together every Monday night at The Station Inn. They now hold forth at a place called 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville with occasional out of town forays. The group of all stars includes a couple of fiddles and guitars, accordion, pedal steel, drums, horns – basically whatever is around that whoever is there can play. You easily hear that it’s all a labor of love for traditional western swing and country music. The level of musicianship is extraordinary, and the song selections are sublime. A part time group with just two prior albums yet four Grammy nominations – impressive.
Vince Gill joined in a few years ago because of his connection with several members of the group, including Dawn Sears who had been his backup singer for years. Sadly, she passed away from cancer a couple of years ago, but left one track behind which is incorporated as a duet with her husband – and fiddling vocalist – Kenny Sears on the new album’s kickoff number, “My San Antonio Rose.”
The brand new album is dedicated to her memory. While Gill does take the lead on several numbers, he subjugates his presence to the benefit of the entire ensemble. If you like Asleep At The Wheel, traditional country music and extraordinary playing, you’ll love jumpin’ into the fun with the Time Jumpers. Be sure to check out their other albums as well.
Willie Nelson (with the Time Jumpers) – For The Good Times: A Tribute To Ray Price
Speaking of The Time Jumpers, they are a big part of Willie’s tribute to Ray Price, also released in the last couple of weeks. Willie never ceases to amaze with his ability to repeat himself while never seeming to repeat himself, which is one reason I have more albums by him than any other artist. He has released two other duet albums with Ray Price going back several decades, and a third that also included Merle Haggard, all of which covered many of the same songs as are on this one. This time, however, with help from the Time Jumpers on six of the twelve cuts, he does them all in arrangements that are as much a tribute to Price’s 1960’s era countrypolitan sound as they are to Price himself. And he sings them as if he’s singing them for the first time. Maybe it’s having the Time Jumpers along – there’s a lot of love in the music they’re playing.
Here’s Willie and the Time Jumpers with Ray’s big hit, “I’ll Be There.”
This week’s Cherry Pickin’s
The Lonesome Strangers – “Goodbye Lonesome, Hello Baby Doll.” A roots group in the late 1980’s from the same area (Southern California) and era that spawned Chris Gaffney and later the Hacienda Brothers.
Tom Russell – “When Sinatra Played Juarez.” Russell is a great songwriter and pretty darn good singer who deserves more than a cherry pick. I’ll revisit him more fully in the future, but this tune is too cool not to pass along to you now.
Dee Clark – “Raindrops” I’m writing this during a Hurricane Matthew induced deluge. It’s dedicated to all my friends along the southeastern US coast.
May your homes, like your martinis, stay dry, very dry.