February 2-8, 2000

Robin and Linda Williams
In The Company Of Strangers

Sugar Hill Records

Twenty-five years into their professional career together, the husband and wife, guitars and vocal team Robin and Linda Williams are offering the finest music of their lives. Aided and abetted by bassist/vocalist Jim Watson and resonator- and Hawaiian -guitarist Kevin Maul, the resulting quartet __ Robin & Linda Williams and Their Fine Band __ make a joyfully American noise that combines aspects of country, folk, bluegrass and old-timey musics into a homogenous, easy-to-take whole. The group's precise, vibrant and gorgeous acoustic instrumental work is matched by their lush and instinctive sense of vocal harmony and overall balance.

In The Company Of Strangers, the Williamses' just-released (and 15th) album, offers a newfound sense of hard-edged bluesiness, much of it composed in an urgent, minor-key mode that bespeaks the plaintive and lovelorn traditional balladry of the English countryside. Like the estimable Greg Brown before them, Robin and Linda Williams came to widespread notoriety through their appearances on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home companion, and their music is fully as literate and engaging as Brown's.