iBluegrass Magazine
February 15, 2000

Robin and Linda Williams
In The Company Of Strangers

Sugar Hill Records

When the commercial country establishment touts posers such as Shania Twain and Billy Ray Cyrus as "country music," it makes one yearn for an alternative. Have you ever wondered what today's country music would sound like had it not been stripped of its natural folk and bluegrass roots so many years ago? Can you imagine the fruits that could have been grown in the fertile fields of country music had they not been strangled by the crossover weeds of pop?

Artists interested in creating an alternative to commercial country have been given an outlet with the development of the Americana format on underground radio. Ironically, the phrase "alternative country" has become a pseudonym for "real country" music. Many people mistake this as a new phenomenon. Quite a few artists have cultivated small but loyal followings by remaining close to the roots, and creating country music stripped of pretense and glitz. A perfect example is the duo of Robin and Linda Williams. Since the early seventies, Robin and Linda have performed what is now called alternative -country... before there was such a thing.

Both Robin and Linda understand that country music is about soul. Robin and Linda Williams write and sing songs that speak to the average person, as country music was meant to do. Country music is alive and well even if not promoted by the commercial establishment. Long after fads have come and gone, just to revisit the past, but to let country music develop as intended by its pioneers. For something different yet familiar, join Robin and Linda and Their Fine Group on this journey through the heart of Americana.

Michael Routh