Robin and Linda Williams
Few artists have been as consistent (without being boring) as Robin and Linda Williams, and though they've changed record labels - Deeper Waters is their Red House debut - their newest album displays the same down-home warmth that marked more than half a dozen 1990s releases for Sugar Hill and earned them plenty of Americana airplay and regular appearances on "A Prairie Home Companion."
Still, the core strengths of Deeper Waters are the same ones that have anchored the duo's work from the beginning. These include tasteful, inventive instrumental work, especially from relatively new bandmember Jimmy Gaudreau on mandolin; earthy, expressive solo and harmony vocals from the two principals; and songs with characters, stories and images drawn from observations of rural and small-town life that are as sympathetic as they are insightful.
This is 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.