Robin and Linda Williams to play Gayville Hall April 19

Robin and Linda Williams to play Gayville Hall April 19 Few performers are equally at home on the stage of the Grand Ole' Opry in Nashville and of a small country music hall in tiny Gayville, but Robin and Linda Williams have built a career that takes them from one to the other with nary a hitch.

For more than a quarter of a century the duo has delighted audiences with a heartfelt blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country that truly merits the title of "American music."

Southeastern South Dakotans and their neighbors will have the opportunity to see and hear Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group live in person on Friday night, April 19, at 8 p.m. at Gayville Hall in Gayville. John and Susan McNeill of Springfield, who are regular hosts at the music hall, will open.

Both children of the South, Robin and Linda Williams met in the early '70s and began their musical partnership at songwriters' nights on the open stages of Nashville. The release of their first album and the beginning of their long-time association with Garrison Keillor and his radio show occured in 1975.

When the show went national in 1980, regular appearances as featured performers and as part of the Hopeful Gospel Quartet (with Keillor and Kate MacKenzie) provided a steady exposure to an audience of millions.

Moving from the hubbub of Nashville to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, the Williams have developed a loyal circuit of performance venues and released a series of critically acclaimed albums. Since 1989, they have been with the Sugar Hill label.

The '90s saw the creation of Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group with former Red Clay Rambler Jim Watson on bass and dobroist Kevin Maul. A 1993 tour with Mary Chapin Carpenter and an appearance in her 1994 Grammy-winning album, Stones In The Road, brought new fans to the Williams.

The couple has appeared on The Grand Ole Opry, Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, and Music City Tonight. They also have performed at bluegrass and folk festivals across the U.S., Canada and Europe. They may not be household names, but the duo has established itself among the top ranks of acoustic music performers, with a devoted legion of followers.

The idea behind Robin and Linda's 16th and newest CD came from Garrison Keillor, who thought it would be fun to put out a CD made up of songs they had known for years and yet, for one reason or another, had never recorded. Visions of Love has songs by Merle Haggard, Jimmie Rodgers, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, the Carter Family, The Louvin Brothers, and Hank Williams, just to mention a few.

Gayville Hall is at 502 Washington Street in Gayville. Tickets are $15 at the door. The box office opens at 6 p.m. the evening of the show. Call 605-267-2859 for advance ticket information.

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