One Fine Group

FREDONIA – Robin and Linda Williams, regulars on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, will appear in concert at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Friday at 7:30 p.m. They will be joined by Their Fine Group. The event is part of the Folk in Fredonia Music Series at the Opera House.

For well more than three decades now, the husband and wife duo have made it their mission to perform the music that they love, “a robust blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country that combines wryly observant lyrics with a wide-ranging melodicism.” Today some might call it “Americana,” but these two revered music masters were living and breathing this elixir 20 years before that label was turned into a radio format.

As live performers, they are second to none. Their stirring concerts have earned them a huge body of fans over the years. But as gifted songwriters Robin and Linda have earned an even rarer honor, the devotion and deep respect of their musical peers.

The list of artists who have covered their original songs include some of the greats of country music, names like Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kathy Mattea.

Despite being true children of the South (Linda was born in Alabama, Robin in North Carolina), their career got its initial momentum up north in the Minneapolis folk scene. Robin had made many friends and connections there as a solo artist and in 1975 they recorded their first album there. The same year they made their first appearance on a little radio show just getting off the ground called A Prairie Home Companion. Their rich relationship with that icon of American broadcasting has continued for more than three decades.

In the late 1980s, Robin and Linda teamed up with Their Fine Group, a group with which they still tour today; and their big sound grew even more.

Throughout their career, Robin and Linda have made appearances on such major programs as The Grand Old Opry, Austin City Limits, Music City Tonight and Mountain Stage; and in 2005, they were featured in Robert Altman’s final film, A Prairie Home Companion. The movie is a fictional representation of behind-the-scenes activities at the long-running radio show. In the movie, they appeared as themselves and performed “Old Plank Road.”

With more than 20 recordings to their credit, and as they approach their 40th anniversary of playing together, this enduring duo proves that their music is more dynamic than ever, with fresh new songs and beautifully rich harmonies.

Tickets to Robin and Linda Williams are $15 ($13 for Opera House members) and may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 679-1891, Tuesday through Friday, 1-5 p.m. They also may be purchased online any time at www.fredopera.org.

The Folk in Fredonia Music Series is sponsored by The Gilman Family. The event also is made possible, in part, with public funds from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County.

Chautauqua County’s only year-round performing arts center, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. A complete schedule of events is available at www.fredopera.org.