Robin and Linda Williams: June Is Busting

Dear Friends,
June is busting out all over. The work season is upon us and we've been wearing out the rakes, hoes and shovels. We've expanded the garden and have gotten almost everything planted. For some reason the tomato plants are slow taking off so we'll be another week or so getting them into the ground. Once they're planted we'll spend the rest of the summer trying to convince the varmits and insects that the vegetables are for us and not them.

But it's not all work and no play. There's a new music venue in Staunton, VA, The Mockingbird ( that is making it hard for us to stay in at night. We've missed many great shows since they opened last fall, but last week we caught Jesse Winchester and the Dixie Bee-Liners. If music does make you sma rter, and we think it does, then Wade Luhn at The Mockingird is certainly raising the intellectual quotient around here.

We were saddened this past week by the death of Bill Hinkley, one of the true musical icons in the Twin Cities. We first met him in the early '70s and were completely in awe of his musical knowledge and ability. He was always a joy to be around. Bill was funny and funky and he could play many styles on many instruments. He had been sick for a long while and we thought we'd never see him again. But last December, while gigging in Minnesota, we stopped at the Homestead Picking Parlor and Bill was there. He was doing what he loved to do - teaching. We had a good visit with him and two days later were completed surprised and elated when he and Judy Larson, his wife and longtime partner, came to our gig. It was an honor to know they'd go to the trouble to come see us. As you can tell, we never lost our admiration for him and we have trouble realizing that life on earth goes on without Bill Hinkley around.

Bumper Sticker of the Month: I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. And then it's time to take a nap. (Off a Cadillac on I-81 in Pennsylvania)

We're having a good time getting some new music together. We've been rehearsing with Jeff Huss and Mark Dalton for our "Songs In The Round" concert and we're having a good time finding material for the upcoming A Prairie Home Companion show. As well, we're starting to get back to the songs we wrote for "Stonewall Country" which will be upon us before too long. It's always a good thing to have a reason for new songs.

June 2nd will be our 37th wedding anniversary. We'll celebrate it by driving to Washington, DC and flying out to the midwest. In fact, we'll be flying the first three weekends in June. It's not our favorite mode of transportation but it saves time, if not exasperation, when you're heading to Minneapolis, Spokane and Albuquerque on successive weekends. And what's there to complain about when you realize that there are people in all those places who want us to come play for them. Bring it all on. We're looking forward to June.

Your pals,
Robin and Linda

George Balderose
Music Tree Productions
(412) 323-2707