Although western swing is a genre that will hopefully never die, it's rare that a new band comes along anymore that breathes as much new life into it as the Time Jumpers do. Not since the emergence of Asleep at the Wheel in the early '70s, in fact, has a group provided as much hope for the continuing vitality of this venerable all-American institution. Well, sort of new, that is: the band, whose membership has shifted considerably but settles in at 11 here, has been at it since 1998. Their weekly gigs at Nashville's Station Inn are legendary around Music City, and it's easy to see why: the Time Jumpers don't attempt to reinvent the wheel here, so to speak; instead, they get to the core of the music, brush off the dust, and remind us why it's been so universally loved for so long. Their repertoire is impressively considered -- along with purebred originals, they cover classics penned by everyone from Fats Waller to George & Ira Gershwin to Mickey Newbury and, of course, Bob Wills. Standards such as Cindy Walker's "Cherokee Maiden" and Bobby Troup's "Route 66," despite having been covered by countless predecessors, don't sound tired by the Time Jumpers, but ready to be rediscovered. The double-CD was wisely recorded in front of an appreciative audience at the Station Inn, and both the vocalists -- Carolyn Martin, Dawn Sears, and Ranger Doug Green, in particular -- and the pickers are on from the git-go. Fiddler Aubrey Haynie and accordionist Jeff Taylor slay on Duke Ellington's "Caravan," and lead guitarist Andy Reiss puts in a solo in his own show-opening "Stompin' at the Station" instrumental that sets the bar high right away. A companion DVD offers the same 26-song set list.
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AllMusic Review by Jeff Tamarkin