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Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire from NASCAR following 2017

The Time Jumpers bringing Western swing

Band of Nashville stalwarts includes Vince Gill.

Somewhere along the line, rock lost its roll and country left the Western behind.

That’s why the Time Jumpers name fits well, as it reunites country and Western and brings swing to the party.

The 2017 Grammy Award winners with country legends Vince Gill, Paul Franklin and “Ranger Doug” Green will swing into the Clark State Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 30.


» What is the Time Jumpers connection to Wright-Patt?

The show is presented by the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

“What we do is Western swing, like big-band music with acoustic instruments,” said Franklin, the band’s acclaimed steel guitarist. “We’re not playing old arrangements.”

One of the unique aspects is having three fiddle players.

What began as a jam band in the late 1990s has evolved into three albums, several Grammy nominations and its first Grammy win back in February for Best American Roots song for the title track of its latest album, “Kid Sister.”

“Kid Sister” is a tribute to the band’s late vocalist Dawn Sears and wife of Time Jumper fiddler Kenny Sears. The song was written for her funeral, and Franklin said it’s always an emotional part of the concerts.

“She was such a crucial backbone of the band, it’s still heartbreaking and hard for us to do,” said Franklin.

The Time Jumpers’ 10 musicians have enough experience to push the boundaries of infinity with a combination of session work and touring.

Gill, who performed at the Clark State PAC as a solo artist along with Franklin in 2013, has 21 Grammy Awards and sold 26 million albums.

Franklin has been named Steel Guitar Player of the Year numerous times and played on more than 500 albums.

“I just played on four songs for Thomas Rhett yesterday,” he said. “You never know what you’ll be called for. I’m in Nashville, but I don’t just play country.

“When you’re a musician you’re always studying. All through my career I’ve been fascinated with all forms. All of us in the Time Jumpers are so diverse.”

Franklin has played for country performers such as Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Alan Jackson. But he’s also performed with Barbra Streisand, Dire Straits, Sting and even thrash metal rockers Megadeth.

What Franklin really likes to see at Time Jumpers concerts is younger people discovering this music for the first time.

“This band is full tilt. We have a lot of fun camaraderie, and we’re very reactive. Expect to have a good time and be ready to dance if you can.”

Contact this contributing writer at

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