News and Observer
May 2004

Robin and Linda Williams
Deeper Waters

Redhouse Records

For 31 years, robin and Linda Williams have traveled the country, singing about traditional values and their place in modern America. Their 17th album, "Deeper Water" (Red House), is vintage Robin and Linda, a collection of honky-tonk, bluegrass, gospel and old-time dance tunes. The 11 originals and one medley from public domain are so tightly focused and performed with such spirit that longtime fans may agree that this is the finest recording of the couple's career.

Beginning on a cheerful note, "Whippoorwill" is a simple tale of a Kansas girl who journeys to sing for her North Dakota boy: "She didn't know when she came to town/ That she could bring such joy." With "October Light," the Williamses harmonize as they gaze upon the evening sky and look to the day ahead. A reminder that neither time nor distance can dissolve the bonds of love, "Home #235" is a traveler's tribute to family and friends.

Celebrating music and friendship, Robin and Linda add lyrics to the old-time fiddle tune "Old Plank Road," while "Liza Jane/ The Old Stillhouse" are rousing old-timey frolics. They also revisit earlier songs, "Leaving this Land," "Annie" and "I'll Remember You, Love, in My Prayers." These are songs about things that matter; they're honest and durable, distilling 31 years of life, love and the road into insightful and joyous tone-poems.

"Deeper Waters" features appearances by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Iris DeMent, and the Williams' northern Virginia neighbor Sissay Spacek and her daughter Schuyler Fisk, in addition to their Fine Group members Jim Watson and Jimmy Gaudreau. Fiddles and mandolins, banjos and guitars contribute to making an album whose Southern roots give rise to a radiant, colorful acoustic bouquet.

Jack Bernhardt