News Observer
July 28, 2012

Robin and Linda Williams
These Old Dark Hills

Redhouse Records

At a time when country music has misplaced its soul, hearing Robin and Linda Williams harmonize is like happening upon an artesian well as you're about to die from thirst.

Robin was raised a minister's son in Charlotte, while Linda is an Alabama native. Their Southern roots inform their music, and their songs are perceptive and relevant, entertaining and thoughtful.

The talented husband-and-wife team, together for 40 years, wrote seven of the dozen songs on "These Old Dark Hills." Great music is not limited to genre, and the Williamses offer an intelligent combination of old-time, bluegrass, country and folk.

With Chris Brashear's bluesy fiddle easing into "Lonesome," Linda laments, "Lonesome is a rotten town to hang around/There's no worse place I have found." In the benedictory title track, Robin finds refuge in "Those faithful confidants of stone/Truer friends I've never known."

Linda's interpretations of Jessi Colter's "Storms Never Last" and Bruce Springsteen's "My Lucky Day," and the adaptation of English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar" are among the many delights on this refreshing collection of songs from two master artists who believe in the sentiments they sing.

Chapel Hill's Jim Watson lends his voice to the closing track, an a cappella prayer-song as urgent plea to grant harmony to a world gone wrong: "Sweet Dove of Peace/Let your white wings encircle our globe/God, how we pray, and hope every day/For the dawning of worldwide peace."

Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group will perform at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro on September 20.

Correspondent Jack Bernhardt Read more here: