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Preview: Robin and Linda Williams in Saranac Lake

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Robin and Linda Williams are nearing their 40th anniversary of playing music together, and earlier this year released a new album, These Old Dark Hills. It's filled with a dozen fresh new songs and rich harmonies, including musical tributes to well-loved dogs.

Throughout their career, which has included many performances on A Prairie Home Companion, Robin and Linda Williams have thrilled folk and bluegrass fans alike. They'll bring their band and some of their new music to the Adirondacks this weekend with a concert at Pendragon Theater in Saranac Lake on Sunday night at 7 pm. The broadcast audio for this story incorrectly stated the concert time as 8 pm. NCPR regrets the error.

Todd Moe caught up with the duo by phone from their home in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. He asked them about the inspiration for their newest recording.

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Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

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The couple found their inspiration for their new album on New Years Day. They explained that where they live is an inspiring place; a great place to live. The two have wanted to write a song about the beautiful mountains surrounding their home for many years.

Robin says as artist you have to “Keep on keepin’ on”. Meaning keep working at your trade; once one project is done, move on to the next. They worked with many great musicians and a new producer while recording their new album. The couple went to Nashville, recorded the album with very little over-dubbing, and mixed it all in four days. “There was a nice feel of spontaneity and freshness to it. I think it lingers there on the recording,” Linda says. The album has been well received, and has had lots of airplay.

There are two songs about dogs on the record. The first, “Lonesome”, is about their dog Luke, who was killed on the road. It “broke our hearts,” they said. About a month they later they went to the Charlottesville SPCA and brought home a dog that they would start calling Tessie Mae. “She came to us full formed, so there is only so much we can do with her,” Robin joked. Tessie Mae was a stray her whole life until the Williams brought her home. They say she has a fun and interesting personality, loves to meet people, and will cuddle up to anyone to get love or food. She inspired “Tessie Mae,” their second dog song in the collection.

At the concert, in the first set they will play mostly songs from their new album. The second set will include music they have put together over the years. And as they do at most concerts, they will take some requests. The pair says they will enjoy coming back to the Adirondacks. They haven’t been in the area for a few years, and said they miss it.

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