Vince Gill wasn't an "indie" act for long. The country icon parted ways with MCA Records in February, after 23 years with the Universal Music Group imprint. This week, the 55-year-old country icon is back with another recording contract -- but not as a solo artist. Vince's longtime band, the Time Jumpers, has signed with Rounder Records, already home to Alison Krauss and Union Station, Rhonda Vincent and Ricky Skaggs. The 11-member Western swing group formed 14 years ago as a way for musicians to gather and play their favorite songs, and have recently begun working on their debut studio album.
"We are so excited to be signing with Rounder Records," founding member and fiddler/vocalist Kenny Sears says. "We have all been fans of this label for a long time. The fact that they are excited about our project makes us twice as excited: lots of excitement! We're very proud of this album; it's the first time we've been able to record our own songs in a studio setting."
The group, which also includes Riders in the Sky member Doug Green, earned an all-star fan base, thanks to their regular Monday night gig at Nashville's renowned Station Inn. Artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Norah Jones and Toby Keith have all taken a turn sitting in with the group.
Vince says being with the Time Jumpers reminds him of when he was just beginning his legendary career. "We split up the money after the gig behind the amps, just like the old days," the Country Music Hall of Fame member tells the Portland Press Herald. "I like to joke, 'It's the only time I play in Nashville where I get paid.' Every other gig is a benefit. I just love playing music. I don't know why some people have to think that if they do well they can't be what they used to be. I like being what I used to be."
Hopefully, working on a new album will help restore his faith in a genre he recently called "mind-numbing." "For me, [country music] lost its traditional bent pretty severely," Vince recently lamented to Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette. "I would love to hear someone write a song like 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' rather than 'You're hot. I'm hot. We're in a truck.'"
The "Threaten Me With Heaven" singer will wrap up his 12-city bluegrass tour this Saturday in Wabash, Ind. He will continue playing shows throughout the summer, including stops in Louisiana and Texas, plus a series of shows in Norway. Keep track of his concert schedule here.
The Time Jumpers will release their debut album on Rounder Records on September 11. They can still be heard live every Monday night in Music City, but have moved to 3rd and Lindsley, to accommodate a larger crowd.
Watch Vince Gill Perform Live in Our Studio