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Robin & Linda Williams |

For more than three decades now, Robin & Linda Williams have made it their mission to perform the music that they love, "a robust blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country that combines wryly observant lyrics with a wide-ranging melodicism." Today some might call it "Americana," but these two revered music masters were living and breathing this elixir 20 years before that label was turned into a radio format.

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Robin & Linda Williams One-Sheet | Download

Robin & Linda Williams and Their Fine Group ~ "Maybelle's Guitar Monroes Mandolin"

Robin & Linda Williams

Arizona

Rolling and Rambling (The Death of Hank Williams)

Ramblin Man

These Old Dark Hills

As live performers they are second to none. Their stirring concerts have earned them a huge body of fans over the years. But as gifted songwriters Robin and Linda have earned an even rarer honor, the devotion and deep respect of their musical peers. As The Washington Post put it, "The Williamses are able to sum up a life in a few details with moving completeness." The list of artists who have covered their original songs include some of the greats of country music, names like Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, George Hamilton IV, Tim & Mollie O'Brien, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea and The Seldom Scene.



"Among contemporary country performers,, Robin and Linda Williams shine like a diamond amid rhinestones ..." __ David W. Johnson, The Boston Globe



Linda is a native of Anniston, Alabama and Robin (the son of a Presbyterian minister) was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. They met and fell for each other in 1971 on a visit to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina while Linda was teaching school and Robin was a full-time musician on a national coffeehouse circuit. It wasn't long before they discovered additional magic when they combined their voices in harmony.



Despite being true children of the South, their career got its initial momentum up north in the Minneapolis folk scene. Robin had made many friends and connections there as a solo artist and in 1975 they recorded their first album in Minneapolis for a local record company. The same year they made their first appearance on a little radio show just getting off the ground called "A Prairie Home Companion" and their rich relationship with that icon of American broadcasting has continued for three decades.



Over the next 15 years they recorded several fine albums and continued to crisscross the country, past miles and miles of highway signs, thrilling audiences with their songs and harmonies. Folk and country fans alike loved their honest heartfelt music. In 1989 a major breakthrough came with their signing to Sugar Hill Records, with whom they would go on to record nine albums. It would be a fruitful relationship and, amazingly, each succeeding recording (beginning with 1989's "All Broken Hearts Are the Same") would top the previous one in artistry and quality.



Around the same time, they began to tour with a band, "Their Fine Group," and their already big sound grew all the more. 1993 saw increased exposure through a major tour with Mary Chapin Carpenter and the now large national audience of "A Prairie Home Companion." With their career now at its 20 year mark Robin and Linda entered into a prolific period of artistic productivity. Within six years they released their all gospel CD (which garnered two nominations for Gospel Album of the Year) and three CD's of predominately original material, beginning with 1996's "Sugar For Sugar" (which spent 13 weeks on the Americana chart). This period of productivity, culminating with 2000's "Company of Strangers," served notice to an ever-increasing audience of Robin and Linda's dedication to their artistry.



Having always sung gospel music, in the late 1980s they teamed up with their old friend and "A Prairie Home Companion" host Garrison Keillor and bluegrass songstress Kate MacKenzie to form The Hopeful Gospel Quartet. This wonderful sideline ensemble has gone on to release two albums and tour the USA, British Isles and Europe.



Robin & Linda have made appearances on such major programs as "The Grand Old Opry," "Austin City Limits," "Music City Tonight," "Mountain Stage" and they continue to make frequent appearances on "A Prairie Home Companion." " ... vocally and instrumentally, the Williamses combine impeccable musical discipline with a bare simplicity and an utter lack of pretension."

__ Stephen Holden, The New York Times



They tour constantly with Their Fine Group. Band members include Jim Watson on bass, vocals and mandolin, who has been with them since the group's beginning. Jim was a founding member of The Red Clay Ramblers and played with them for 14 years. The fourth chair of the Fine Group is filled the wonderful fiddle/mandolin player, Chris Brashear. He also performs in a duo with Peter McLaughlin and with the bluegrass band "The Perfect Strangers."



The Williams' period of productivity has no end. Their 2002 recording, "Visions of Love, " was produced by Garrison Keillor. It garnered a three-star review in USA Today upon its release and received rave notices nationwide. The CD spent several months on the Americana charts and topped the list on several others.



2003 launched the Fortune - Williams Music Festival. Each Fall, Robin and Linda teamed up with Jimmy Fortune and a few of their friends for a line-up of music fit for a setting like the Frontier Cultural Museum in Staunton, VA. With this single event, they managed to host some of the nation's top musicians for three days of non-stop entertainment until its closing in 2011.



The big item in 2004 was their new move to the prominent independent label, Red House Records. Red House is the Grammy-winning home of several major American roots-based singers and songwriters including Greg Brown, John Gorka, Lucy Kaplansky, Spider John Koerner and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Robin and Linda's 2004 recording, "Deeper Waters," has been reviewed as to "what amounts to nothing short of a masterpiece" by the All Music Guide.



2005 - Finally, a Christmas recording from Robin and Linda! "The First Christmas Gift" has great new Christmas songs of their own composition, as well as songs by John Prine, Roger Miller and Steve Earle. "'The First Christmas Gift' is a breath of fresh air in an overcrowded, cliche-ridden field ..." 'Shotgun Shells On A Christmas Tree' will probably become a bluegrass standard. __ The Washington Post



2005 opened new opportunites for Robin and Linda to be included in Robert Altman's final film, "A Prairie Home Companion." The movie is a fictional representation of behind-the-scenes activities at the long-running public radio show of the same name. Here, they appeared as themselves and performed "Old Plank Road." Filmed at the Fitzgerald Theater and released in 2006, the movie pooled the talents of four Oscar winners. Critics' general reaction to the film was favorable: Roger Ebert awarded the film four out of four stars, saying, "What a lovely film this is, so gentle and whimsical, so simple and profound" and later added the film to his "Great Movies" list.



In 2007 Robin & Linda Williams put together a collection of their best live performances from the hit radio show "A Prairie Home Companion" on a recording appropriately titled "Radio Songs." "Radio Songs is a unique retrospective of one of the most enduring and energetic musical acts of the last few decades." __ Bluegrass Music News Network. "This CD is like going back in time to a day when radio was prominent in every home. MUSIC ROW MAGAZINE writes, "It doesn't get any better than these two entwining their pure voices on a glowing, burnished Carter Family jewel.



Home for Robin and Linda is an old frame house built around a log cabin in Middlebrook, Virginia, right in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. In 2008 they released their 20th recording, "Buena Vista,"tunes that take us down south to country's bumpy back roads and mountain views. With this recording the Williamses have penned a finely detailed drawing of American characters. "Music and meaning are seamless, genuine, and first-rate, as we have come to expect from this gifted team." __ Dirty Linen



With the revival of Lime Kiln Theater's "Stonewall Country" Robin and Linda put their original tunes on a 2011 recording. Telling the story of the life of Stonewall Jackson, each song represents a different character or mood, and the music shifts accordingly. So there is a bluegrass number, a blues, and any number of songs that resist genre labeling beyond folk. "Robin and Linda Williams handle all of the lead vocals, and portray all of the different characters and moods, proving themselves to be wonderfully flexible singers. __ Oliver di Place



No Depression magazine praises Robin and Linda Williams for creating "music that is both comfortable and thoughtful - a rare combination that explains why and how the Williamses are able to keep on an even keel while musical trends come and go. They don't play at being country - they are country." Check out their tour schedule for a concert near your home town.



Robin & Linda Williams Reach a 40th Milestone

robinandlindawilliams01-540x340

In 1971, a young schoolteacher named Linda Hill was visiting her parents in Myrtle Beach, S.C., when she met a musician named Robin Williams. She was a singer and played guitar. He was a regular on the coffeehouse circuit. The two hit it off immediately. Two years later, they were married and touring the country in a VW Bug.

They’ve been on the road ever since. The couple tour and play constantly, sharpening their chops and blending their voices together in lush Appalachian harmonies. They’ve become mainstays on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion and have influenced subsequent generations of roots musicians.

To commemorate 40 years of musical and romantic collaboration, the couple are releasing Back 40, a collection that surveys their vast catalog of more than 20 studio albums and innumerable live shows. In addition to one new tune and a handful of covers, the duo revisit material from throughout their career, some dating back to their very first years together.

Preparing to go back out on “the never-ending tour,” as Robin calls it, the couple spoke to CMT Edge from their home in rural Virginia.

read more

Stephen Deusner, CMT Edge

Yes, Virginia

Robin and Linda Williams have lived in the Shenandoah Valley near Staunton, VA for going on 40 years, and their musical approach of spare, honest folk puts them squarely in the state’s legacy, which of course includes the Carter Family, as well as Dock Boggs and the Stanley Brothers. The Williams’ song “These Old Dark Hills” from their new album of the same title spoke directly to the ancient landscape they inhabit and love. Then Linda sang a lovely lead on the early and authentic version of “Wildwood Flower” entitled “I’ll Twine Mid The Ringlets.” Was there ever a sweeter melody? Then came I think their hit of the night, the joyful and swift “Maybelle’s Guitar and Monroe’s Mandolin” celebrating the amazing juxtaposition of those two iconic instruments at the Country Music Hall of Fame. If you’ve never seen the exhibit, you must. And if you’ve never heard Robin and Linda in person, well that too. Their energy is easy but potent. They are sticklers for perfect intonation (pay heed youngsters) and they eschew ornamentation. They are one of the template bands for and exemplary bands of Americana, and this was I hope the first of many visits to Roots by this remarkable duo. Kudos too to their Fine Group, with Chris Brashear on mandolin and fiddle and the veteran Jim Watson on bass and vocals. This was what mastery sounds like.

 

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Craig Havighurst

Date

Venue

Location

Tickets

4/27/2017 Maintenance Shop
Ames, IA
5/13/2017 Shady Grove Coffeehouse Church
Glen Allen, VA
5/14/2017 Creative Alliance
Baltimore, MD
6/03/2017 6 On The Square
Evening With Robin and Linda Williams
Oxford, NY
6/04/2017 Pickens Opera Hall
Heuvelton, NY
7/15/2017 Workhouse Arts Center at Lorton
Lorton, VA
8/06/2017 Oak Grove Music Festival
Verona, VA
11/18/2017 Lancaster Middle School
Kilmarnock, VA
4/13/2018 - 4/14/2018 Carnegie Hall
Lewisburg, WV

 Brightest and Best-A Holiday Concert

 

 Robin and Linda Williams have developed throughout their performing career a unique collection of Holiday and seasonal songs resulting in “Brightest and Best – A Holiday Concert.” Along with their original songs Robin and Linda include distinctive renditions of traditional Holiday material, some familiar and some not, and those from other songwriters like Steve Earle, John Prine and Joni Mitchell, all beautifully played and sung. To this they add their charming stories and the result is a joyous evening that puts even the Scrooges of the world in the spirit of the season. They have released a Holiday CD, “The First Christmas Gift,” on Red House Records.

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Label Info

Red House Records
Ellen Stanley
800.695.4687
promotions@redhouserecords.com
Website

Publicity Info

Patti Simmons
doah@nc.rr.com
Website