Thursday, July 1, 2010
Time Jumpers at Midsummers Night Swing, Lincoln Center, 7/1/10
What a hoot at Lincoln Center Thursday night where the Nashville-based western swing band The Time Jumpers held court to a crowd of about 400. New Yorkers are not known for their Texas two-step skills, but that almost made it an even more fun event, with everyone trying some kind of dance to this marvelous band, which filled the night sky with the sounds of Bob Wills, Milton Brown, Gene Autry and swing arrangements of standards like "All of Me" and "Route 66."
If you wanted to dance on the huge "dance floor" in front of the band, you had to pay $17, and get a ticket, then a hand stamp. I asked a genial fellow if he'd rub his hand stamp off on my hand to get me access and lightly and politely said, "No." Oh, well. The biggest problem was the band played two full sets to a half-empty dance floor, while meanwhile, behind a screened in sound booth at the back of the dance floor, a SECOND, FREE dance floor was packed with rockin' swingers bungling through the two-step in free form fashion--and having a ball.
A bit about The Time Jumpers--who were screwed by not being able to see the 300 adoring fans surrounding the $17 dance floor: This band is the be-all, end-all of modern Texas Swing. They count in their number THREE fiddle players (masters, one and all); stand up base, two guitars, mandolin (Vince Gill), three wonderful singers, and the top-ranked Academy of Country Music pedal steel player, Mr. Paul Franklin. They're Nashville's top session musicians, and they play the Grand Ole' Opry every week, and various members have sat in for studio sessions with such luminaries as Slim Whitman, Carrie Underwood, Barbara Streisand and Megadeth. Their gigs at the Opry draw such notable fans as Robert Plant, Jimmy Buffet, Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Robben Ford, Ronnie Milsap, and list goes on and on.
Every song at the MNS show was fun--especially loved the yodeling in the second set, and the Bob Wills sprinkled throughout. But the Lincoln Center should consider a policy of allowing ALL people onto the dancefloor after a certain time (say, 9:30 pm) so that the band can get the respect they deserve from adoring fans who just can't afford $17 for a ticket.
Go, Time Jumpers!