Ames Tribune
September 28, 2013

Robin and Linda Williams
Back 40

Redhouse Records

Robin and Linda Williams make old material new for next album

By Anthony Capps, Staff Writer

Robin and Linda Williams' next album, their 24th, has some new material, but a lot of it is updated and revamped music from their 40-year catalog of original music.

"We were looking at songs that were never put out publicly or got a digital recording," Linda said. "It's a new look at some old songs. A couple are even from our very first record that we still think are pretty good, and for us we go back and relearn them and give them a fresh boost. It's stuff we wanted to have another crack at."

The two went through past songs, many of which haven't been performed since they were originally recorded, and selected the ones they thought deserved a second chance. It also gave them the opportunity to transfer some of them into a digital record and tweak some, too.

The two, who front the folk music group Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group, will perform at the Maintenance Shop next Sunday for their unofficial annual concert.

The new 14-song album, "Back 40," which is set for wide release on Oct. 22, will also be available to purchase at the concert.

The couple is a staple at the Maintenance Shop. They have performed there nearly every year since the venue opened in 1971. Robin remembers their first time playing there when the venue still resembled a maintenance room.

"It was a small stage in the middle of the room because the place was still being worked on," he said. "It turned out to be a really good club."

They regularly perform in the Twin Cities and other places in the Midwest, but nowhere, other than the M Shop, do they perform so regularly. Linda said they have some longtime regular M Shop attendees who are now bringing their grandchildren.

Next Sunday's show will include some classic songs as well as some new material from the upcoming album.

And to anyone who might have heard the older version of some of the new material, some parts have changed, including the instrumental and who is singing.

Their goal in making music hasn't changed though.

"We try to capture as honestly as we can, the parts of life that are universal," Linda said. "All humans grow through periods and episodes of life. We try to write from a personal point of view and perform it honestly. But we also try to interject humor whenever we can."