“The Williamses are able to sum up a life in a few details with moving completeness.”
" 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
"The real deal...timeless and appealing across the ages!"
"Lyrics that pluck at the nerve center of emotional experiences!"
“Robin & Linda are an American musical treasure.”
Red House Records
With a rich career spanning over four decades, Virginia-based duo Robin & Linda Williams have made it their mission to perform the music they love; a robust blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country. Today it is called Americana, but they were performing this music 20 years before the term was turned into a radio format.
They met in 1971 at an open stage while visiting family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. At the time, Linda who was born in Alabama, was teaching school in Michigan. Robin (the son of a Presbyterian minister) a native of North Carolina was working as a full-time musician on a national coffeehouse circuit. Their personal relationship developed. Within two years they began their musical career together performing traditional and gospel songs in clubs and on the coffeehouse circuit; building a reputation as a powerful duo.
Their first few albums were recorded in Minneapolis, MN. “We'd go up to record and one of our musician friends (Peter Ostroushko) from Minneapolis ended up coming on the road with us. He knew of this new radio show just starting the summer of 1975 called A Prairie Home Companion. When we came back in the fall, people said we should get on the show. We called Garrison and got in on the ground floor. From 1975 until 1980 we'd call whenever we were coming to town and asked to get on the show. We were never refused" said Robin.
"When Garrison went national in 1980, he started gathering people around him he thought could help keep the show's high quality. We became semi-regulars for a while; playing ten or twelve times a year” explained Robin. It was ideal exposure for artists like Robin and Linda. A quality program with a national audience only too happy to hear them sing and play. In Keillor they found a friend with similar musical interests so it wasn't too surprising when the three of them, together with Stoney Lonesome vocalist Kate MacKenzie, teamed up to form the Hopeful Gospel Quartet as a side venture. Besides performing over ten years together on the radio, they toured the US, the British Isles and Europe; plus released two CD’s.
After touring and recording as a duo for their first 15 years together, Robin and Linda formed a band with Jim Watson, Jimmy Gaudreau, Kevin Maul and Chris Brashear. “When we first got the band together, Linda and I had already committed to play the Grand Ol' Opry” said Robin. “As we walked onstage, the MC introduced us as Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group. We laughed about it, but as time went by we couldn't find anything that sounded better so our band became Their Fine Group” concluded Robin.
In 1993, they joined Mary Chapin-Carpenter for a couple of shows and ended up doing a major tour with her; putting the duo in front of large crowds across the US. Afterwards, they sang backup vocals on her Grammy winning CD Stones in the Road. In 1994, they did backup work for Iris Dement’s CD My Life.
They have recorded 23 albums to date. Their gospel CD, “Good News,” on Sugar Hill Records garnered two nominations for Gospel Album of the Year in 1995. It is their only gospel recording and features traditional gospel songs and rousing a cappella numbers; pure country gospel.
Stonewall Country was a musical written and developed by Robin and Linda and Don Baker. It tells the life-story of one of the Confederacy's most iconic generals, Stonewall Jackson, by tracing a story-arch of Jackson's pre-war life in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley to one of his finest moments during The Valley Campaign of 1862. Beautifully written it captures the courage that defined Jackson and ultimately brought him to his fate. Stonewall Country attracted many thousands of fans and ran for 25 years at the Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington, VA.
They have now come full circle; returning to performing as a duo, consistently touring. When not on the road, they reside in their old frame house built around a log cabin in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Their home for over forty years.