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JSMHM Presents ‘Prairie and Mountain Homes Meet,’ With Robin and Linda Williams Concert

Robin and Linda Williams

Robin and Linda Williams are leaving Lake Woebegone to make a rare appearance in the High Country on Saturday, July 9th, playing a concert for Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music (JSMHM) at the Harvest House in Boone at 7:30 p.m. With a career that spans four decades, the Williams have been on a mission performing the music they love – a robust blend of old-time, bluegrass, folk and acoustic country music. Combined with their superb heartfelt songwriting this musical melding of styles has kept them at the forefront of what today is called “Americana Music.”

The Williams’ unique sound is steeped in the traditional music of the Appalachian Mountains, the Mississippi Delta, British Isles, Louisiana and Quebec. As live performers they are second to none; they engage audiences with their powerful singing, their gift for capturing moments of universal life in their songs, and a rare personal appeal. But it’s their superb songwriting that 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, Tom T. Hall, George Hamilton IV, Tim & Mollie O’Brien, Kathy Mattea and The Seldom Scene. With 23 record albums to their credit, they have also appeared on “The Grand Ol’ Opry,” “Austin City Limits,” “Music City Tonight” and “Mountain Stage”.

Fans of National Public Radio will understand why this concert was titled, “Prairie and Mountain Homes Meet.” Robin and Linda Williams have been a mainstay on the iconic NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion” since 1975. Rodney Sutton, director of JSMHM explained – “When I was considering the offer to step into directing Mountain Home Music after Joe Shannon had retired before his death in 2014, I had never attended one of his concerts. Two different friends who had played on Shannon’s shows both described his concerts by saying, ‘Think of it as a mountain version of A Prairie Home Companion.’ What a compliment!”

The Williams have appeared as guest performers on this iconic radio show hundreds of times as a duet and along with ‘Their Fine Group,’ with whom they toured extensively in the 1990’s. Having always sung gospel music, in the late 1980’s they teamed up with their old friend and “A Prairie Home Companion(APHC)” host Garrison Keillor and bluegrass songstress Kate MacKenzie to form The Hopeful Gospel Quartet. This wonderful sideline ensemble has gone on to release two albums and tour the USA, British Isles and Europe. The Williams also made their movie debut 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 public radio show of the same name. Here, they appeared as themselves and performed “Old Plank Road.”

Speaking of how he felt as Keillor bowed out as host for APHC for the final time this past Saturday night, Robin Williams said of his friend of 42 years, “We’re thinking this weekend of Garrison Keillor and the cast and crew of A Prairie Home Companion as they head toward their final show of the season and Garrison’s final show ever. He’s going out on top, not having lost a creative step. It’s really amazing. We should all shoot for that level of excellence.”

If you care to witness another example of two extraordinary performers who continue to hit that level of excellence each and every show, don’t miss Robin and Linda Williams at this JSMHM concert!

This concert is supported by the following private sponsors: The Ned Trivette Family, Dr. E. Frank and Tara Hancock, Lynn Hubbard, Merida H. Steele – In Honor of John H. Steele, The Estate of Joe Shannon and The Blowing Rock School. The United Way Sponsorship is Courtesy of Jack & Karen James. Business sponsors include; DeWoolfson Down, MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove, Mountain Times Publishing, and High Country Press. Additional support is provided by; The Anne and Alex Bernhardt Foundation – a component fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation, Boone TDA, North Carolina Arts Council, Watauga County Arts Council. JSMHM is proud to be a part of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.

Tickets cost $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Student tickets are $10. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.mountainhomemusic.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Stick Boy Bread Company(345 Hardin St, Boone), as well as Pandora’s Mailbox and The Blowing Rock Market – both on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.

The Harvest House Performing Arts Venue is located at 247 Boone Heights Dr. Boone, NC Directions and more info can be found at the JSMHM website – mountainhomemusic.org