When Dawn Sears lost her fight with lung cancer in December 2014, her death left a major void in the Nashville live music scene. The vocalist was a key member of the Time Jumpers, the Western swing and old-school country group that performs every Monday at club 3rd and Lindsley. Still, the band, led by Sears' husband Kenny Sears and counting Vince Gill among its members, soldiered on. In September 2016, the Time Jumpers will honor their fallen singer with the new album Kid Sister.
Released on Rounder Records, the LP is a collection of 14 songs and nods to Sears in its title. Gill produced the album, which features live favorites "All Aboard," a chugging instrumental by pedal-steel master Paul Franklin, the jazz-inflected stunner "Blue Highway Blue," sung by drummer Billy Thomas, and the self-referential "We're the Time Jumpers."
Although Gill is the band's most famous member, it's entirely a group effort. He told Rolling Stone Country that he rarely does any of his own material when onstage with the Time Jumpers. "I try to keep it with the spirit of what this band is. I work really hard at helping people to grasp I'm just one of the guitar players," he says. "I bring a lot of attention to the band because I'm in it, and I can't help that. But everybody in that band knows my heart and everybody is completely fine with it."