Country superstar Vince Gill will perform Friday in Olympia, but he won’t, strictly speaking, be playing country music. Gill, who’s won 20 Grammys and 18 Country Music Association awards, is coming to town not on a solo tour but as one-tenth of Western swing supergroup The Time Jumpers.
Western swing, popular in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, was big band’s country cousin. “It’s really fun music,” Gill said in a phone interview Monday. “It borderlines on jazz and bebop.”
The Jumpers, who play every Monday night at Nashville nightclub 3rd and Lindsley, began as a fun project for some of that city’s most respected studio musicians, but the band’s profile has risen sharply since Gill joined them a half-dozen years ago. Last month, the band got two Grammy nominations, one for Gill’s song “Kid Sister,” a tribute to the band’s late singer Dawn Sears, and the other for the album Kid Sister.
Whether at home or on the road, though, The Jumpers’ concerts are still about having fun and helping to keep this music alive. “It’s not really a show per se,” Gill said. “It’s just a collection of some fine musicians that all take turns playing. Nobody has the spotlight except when it’s their turn. It’s pretty democratic. It’s really neat.” He’s a dedicated player, showing up most Mondays despite a busy touring and recording schedule. “We’re weekend warriors,” he said of life as a touring musician. “There’s not a lot of touring on Mondays.”
To Gill, there’s no real difference between a solo show and one as just another guitarist. “At the end of the day, it’s all exactly the same,” he said. “You’re just playing and singing to the best of your abilities. I’ve had a career as a solo artist but also a side man, a hired gun and a session player, all those different things.”
What: The Time Jumpers
Where: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts,
512 Washington St. SE, Olympia
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13
How much: $33-$82
Learn more: 360-753-8586 | Washington Center