Houston Press
Vol. 38 No. 9
February 29 - March 6, 1996

Robin and Linda Williams
Sugar For Sugar

Sugar Hill Records

For someone raised in modern times, it can be difficult to glean the appeal - let alone the importance - of the music on old Carter Farnily records. Repetition and a wiIlingness to embrace a lo-fi world can yield that understanding, but it takes effort. Fortunately, Robin and Linda Williams do some of the work for us, reinventing the essence of Carterdom in a way that even the most hard-bitten technophiIe can appreciate. Part of a musical continuum that includes the Louvin Brothers and Hank Williams as well as the Carters, Robin and Linda play the kind of no-frills, boiled-down country that derives its power from simplicity and heart, rather than fIash and bombast.

Driven by close harrnonies that only 20 plus years in the trenches together can produce, and backed by Their Fine Band -- ex-Red Clay Rambler Jim Watson on bass and backup vocals and Kevin Maul on DobroŃ Robin and Linda add tasty layers of musical flesh to some aLready soulful bones. So rather than force feeding yourself digitally remastered versions of Carter Family standards in order to probe the core of country, save some time and go see Robin and Linda Williams instead.