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Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group
to Perform at UW-Eau Claire Feb. 23

RELEASED: Feb. 9, 2009

Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group
Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group

EAU CLAIRE — Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group will perform Feb. 23 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Artists Series concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.

The music of Robin and Linda Williams is often described as Americana, a combination of bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country. Their band is a renowned live act, performing in a range of venues including the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. Their career spans more than 30 years and more than 20 albums, and their fans are many.

"Vocally and instrumentally, the Williamses combine impeccable musical discipline with a bare simplicity and an utter lack of pretension," wrote Stephen Holden in The New York Times. Their friend and frequent collaborator Garrison Keillor is more plainspoken: "Individually their voices can melt cheese, and in duet they can do all-purpose welding."

As songwriters Robin and Linda Williams are "able to sum up a life in a few details with moving completeness," wrote The Washington Post. The artists who have covered their original songs include Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, George Hamilton IV, Tim & Mollie O'Brien, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea and The Seldom Scene.

Their Fine Group was formed when the Williamses teamed up with former Red Clay Rambler Jim Watson (bass, vocals and mandolin). Chris Brashear (fiddle) will fill the fourth chair of the Fine Group for this performance.

Robin and Linda Williams met and began performing together in 1971. Despite their being true children of the South, their career got its initial momentum up north in the Twin Cities folk scene. In 1975 they recorded their first album in Minneapolis for a local record company and made their first appearance on a radio show just getting off the ground — "A Prairie Home Companion." The Williamses continue to be frequent guests on the popular public radio show, and they were featured in the 2006 film by Robert Altman.

Their most recent CD, "Buena Vista," was released in September. As part of the Hopeful Gospel Quartet (with Keillor and bluegrass singer Kate MacKenzie), the Williamses recorded a live album from Carnegie Hall that was produced by Chet Atkins, toured across the United States and Europe, and were featured on PBS' "Austin City Limits."

In 1978, Robin and Linda Williams were featured during the 10th anniversary season of The Cabin, the coffeehouse in Davies Center that is marking its 40th anniversary this year. The Cabin, established in 1968, is the longest-running coffeehouse series in the nation.

Tickets for the Artists Series show are $17 for the public, $15 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $7 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets for students are half-price, $3.50, up until the day of the event. On the day of the event, students will be required to pay the full student-ticket price.

Patrons may also charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

The Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites (715-838-9989) at 3340 Mondovi Road is the exclusive accommodations partner for the Artists Series.

Funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire, the Artists Series is administered by the Activities and Programs office.

-30-

JS/NW

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