Robin and Linda Williams: July's Jumping 2009

Dear Friends,
As usual, there's a lot going on. Every day gets filled and we're so lucky to have a good portion of our days filled with music. And then, as usual, the rest of the day gets filled with business, this old house, the property and the garden. Some of our friends are already getting their beans in. Us, we're just glad to have our lettuce and peas. We're having trouble with beets, peppers and eggplant. But there's still enough time for us to not give up hope.

In the fall of 1984 Don Baker, who was heading up a new theater in Lexington, VA, approached us with the idea of writing a musical about the legendary Confederate general Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. To make a long story short, we did it and, to our complete amazement, it became the anchor piece for the Lime Kiln Theater and ran for twenty years. It was quite the spectacle but we always considered it, first and foremost, to be a thoughtful piece of work about a complex man in a complex time. After a five year hiatus, Kim Renz, the Artistic Director of the Lime Kiln, asked us if we'd be interested in being part of a new production. Again, to make a long story short, we decided to do it. What's making it extra special for us is several of the old cast members including Don Baker, who wrote the book, will be in the production. We and Jim Watson, along with Doug Harwood and his parade drum, will be performing all the songs and music. We're having a lot of fun getting close to these songs again and readying ourselves for theater work. It'll be a stripped down production that will concentrate on the story and not the pageantry. It's a wonderful play and we're so glad to be involved with it again. Another week and it'll time for real SHOW BUSINESS.

The 7th annual Fortune Williams Music Festival is booked and the dates are September 25 and 26th. Robin and Linda, Jimmy and Nina Fortune and Larry Smith, the festival director, have put in a lot of work to make this happen and it's going to be great. Saturday's guests include Jay Ungar and Mollie Mason and Heather Berry with Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives headlining. Friday night's songwriting show will feature Pat Alger and Kenny Beard. Of course we'll be there both days performing. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on July 20, 2009 at 10 a.m. Eastern time. For those on our mailing list, tickets will go on sale a week earlier. Starting at 10:00 a.m. on July 13 and running through 5:00 p.m. on July 17, orders will be taken for those of you who have the all important code. It is "fw72009". To get the early tickets you'll have to use the code. You may order at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, VA or call them at (540) 332-7850. Office hours are 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., weekdays. For more information go to

A DVD: We're filming a live show for a DVD. It'll take place in Staunton,VA on August 20. We're working with Allan Moye, a musician/film teacher friend of ours and feel lucky to have him on board for this project. It'll take place in a small theater on the Mary Baldwin College campus. About all we can now is that we're going to need an audience for the event and it will be by invitation only. We'll let you know more details about the event in next month's newsletter. But keep it in mind if you would like to attend.

Garrison Keillor is someone special. He has had a profound artistic influence on us. Through the force of his talent and his hard work he has created a unique niche for himself in American culture. This week his radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion", is 35 years old. We have worked with him for 34 of those years and somewhere along the way we became friends. People are always asking us what he's like as a person and what it's like to work with him. There is no way we can answer it better than to say watch the PBS special on American Masters "Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes." Most PBS stations will carry it tonight, July 1. But we'd be surprised if it isn't repeated. And yes, we're in it doing interviews and music. If you have any interest in Garrison or "A Prairie Home Companion" you'll enjoy this profile.

After "Stonewall Country" we'll get back to our real lives. If you're close, come see us. The Fine Group Boutique now has the Robin and Linda air fresheners. No car should be without one of those.

Bumper Sticker Of The Month: I child-proofed my house but they STILL get in.

That's all for now. Hope you all are enjoying the summer of '09. Keep on the sunny side and remember, music makes you smarter.

Your pals, Robin and Linda