Robin and Linda Williams: July's Email

Dear Friends,

The garden is watered, the house is almost finished with its "spring cleaning," our recently tweaked new band vehicle has been returned to us from Indiana (thanks Geoff Williams), our passports are in our hands and we're getting ready to get really busy.

We were in Durham, NC tonight for the beginning of our weekend's work. Tomorrow we go to Ashland, VA to one of our favorite clubs and on Sunday we're at a festival on the site of the world's first Bluegrass festival which took place on July 4, 1961.

Next week we'll wash our clothes and pack the big suitcases and head off on the A Prairie Home Companion cruise. It'll be a little more special this year because Kate MacKenzie, our original partner in the Hopeful Gospel Quartet is coming out of retirement and we'll be singing with her for the the first time since 1999.

We were in Garrison Keillor's office on a Friday in the spring of 1987 tossing around ideas for the APHC show when Kate walked in and we met her for the first time. GK asked if she had any ideas and she threw out "There Came A Man" by the Marshall Family. We knew right then that we'd met a kindred spirit as we were heavily into the Marshalls. We worked up three parts on the spot, GK came in on the bass and we began a 12 year stint that included playing over a hundred shows on the radio, two CDs (one produced by Chet Atkins) and traveling around the country and Europe. We were good singers then but had just worked as a duo and hadn't learned the discipline of harmony singing that is needed to sing in a group. We learned how to, as Kate said, "grab on to our parts and hold on." And because we were so often singing new songs on the radio, we learned to do it fast. In '99, she married Buck, moved to Oregon and retired. We carried on with the Hopefuls, singing for several years with Mollie O'Brien and then a year with Carol Elizabeth Jones. Those were really good years as well but we were better band mates for Mollie and CE from having sung all those years with Kate. So, this upcoming week on the ship is going to a lot of fun for us.

We'll get back from the cruise and head right into rehearsals for "Stonewall Country," our musical that we wrote many years ago. We've found renewed energy for this play and are looking forward to a successful run. Our new CD of the same name will be released on July 12 just in time for the opening. You can buy the CD from us, order it off of our web site or go to Red House Records.

Tickets for the 9th Annual Fortune Williams Music Festival ( go on sale this month. We're excited about this years festival which will be headlined by Suzy Bogguss. Laurie Lewis and The Right Hands, Gail Davies, Bruce Molsky and Dean Dillon will also be on hand and, as usual, the co-hosts Jimmy Fortune and Robin and Linda Williams will be performing both days. It will be held at the Frontier Culture Museum ( in Staunton, VA on Sept. 23+24. Ticketsw will go on sale on July 11 for those on our email list and you can order them at 540.332.7850 from 10:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m. until Friday, the 15th. You'll need to use the code FWPS2011 to buy the early tickets. On the 17th, tickets go on sale to the general public.

Bumper Sticker of the Month: Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

And finally, this just in from XM radio's Mary Sue Twohy. XM radio will feature our new CD "Stonewall Country" on Monday, July 4 at 11:00 a.m and 6:00 p.m. on channel 62, The Village. You can also listen on line at This is a nice piece of news for us.

Hope this finds you all doing well an that you are enjoying summer. We'll stay in touch. You do the same.

Your pals, Robin and Linda