fROOTS Magazine
October 2012

Robin and Linda Williams
These Old Dark Hills

Redhouse Records

There is a strain of country music that thankfully never loses sight of itself. A tradition that flows on and on, uncomplicated yet sophisticated at times, clichéd yet unique. I could write a long, long list of those who have followed this tradition. Robin and Linda Williams have been in the mold for a long time, and their latest offering produced by Jim Rooney, whose involvement always guarantees the ingredients will be properly presented, is right on the mark. A large helping of original songs; songs about being lonesome, hills of home, a dog, an American State (geographical not emotional) with an old country hit from Waylon Jennings, Storms Never Last, perfectly adapted. Other writers include Bruce Springsteen and Lord Tennyson, so there can be no complaint about variety, although it's the original songs that stand out. Instrumental support is superb, with Robin and Linda leading the way with guitar and delicately played banjo behind some hot fiddle, mandolin and dobro licks. If there is one quality that really brings out the excellent harmony singing, the songs and the playing, it is the timing. On this recording that is perfect, the pulse and the gaps can define the genre.

John Atkins