By Christa T. for Accordion Americana In 1998, The Time Jumpers began as a garage band comprised of some of the sharpest and most respected session musicians in Nashville. It started as a practice band, with no particular concept other than as a musician’s “workshop” in which each could hammer out, nail down and hone their skills between gigs. But, it quickly became more than just nuts and bolts. It became a real chance for them to “be in the moment” and participate together to create music and to do what they do best, simply for the joy of it.
Almost from the start, they asked for, and were offered a Monday night berth at the legendary Station Inn, which ironically had witnessed a previous life as a garage/shop or warehouse. People began to show up to watch, and others to sit in. Soon, some pretty big names became involved. Enormously talented Vince Gill was a long time fan of the band, then joined The Time Jumpers some years later. Even though Mondays are typically slow nights, the small venue was overwhelmed because The Time Jumpers became so popular. This led to the band’s relocation in 2012 to a larger space at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville.
Currently the stellar lineup features the multi-Grammy award winner, Vince Gill,(vocals, electric and acoustic guitar). Also, superb session musicians, “Ranger Doug” Green (vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Brad Albin (upright bass), Billy Thomas (drums, vocals), Kenny Sears (Vocals, fiddle), Larry Franklin (fiddle), Jeff Taylor (accordion, piano), Andy Reiss (electric guitar) and Joe Spivey (fiddles, vocals). To keep it from being an all boys club, Dawn Sears performed as a member of The Time Jumpers for years before losing her battle with cancer in 2014. Her passing left a gaping hole in the band’s heart too great to fill with just anyone.
Over the last two decades, Nashville has watched The Time Jumpers evolve into one of the most eclectic groups in the Country genre. Whether drawing from a solid foundation of Country and Bluegrass tunes, or performing Western Swing, they show off their chops equally with Jazz as well as Pop Standards. In 2007, the group recorded a live album, “Jumpin’ Time”. They were also nominated for two Grammy Awards, “Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group” and “Best Country Instrumental Performance”. In 2012, the group recorded the a studio album entitled “The Time Jumpers” and have followed with “Kid Sister”, recorded in 2016. The song, written by Vince Gill about Dawn Sears for The Time Jumpers, won the Grammy Award in 2017 for “Best American Roots Song”.
Jeff Taylor, one of the mainstays and a founding member of The Time Jumpers, brings to the table a skill set on the accordion that can evoke the smokey coolness of Jazz accordion, add infectious energy to Western Swing or create an atmospheric backdrop to a moody ballad. His excellence and versatility as an Americana accordionist are respected in Nashville and beyond.
For The Time Jumpers, striving to create and “be in the moment” means they have the willingness to look back, yet move forward, musically; to show a fresh, new interpretation of the past and give it new meaning, new life. It’s this gift that endears them to their fans and will mean that their music will continue to evolve, and endure.