ROBIN & LINDA WILLIAMS "Radio Songs" Red House

Robin and Linda Williams are regulars on radio's
Robin and Linda Williams are regulars on radio's "A Prairie Home Companion."
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Friday, December 28, 2007

ROBIN & LINDA WILLIAMS"Radio Songs"Red House

ROBIN & LINDA WILLIAMS first appeared on Garrison Keillor's public-radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion," in 1975, just a year after the program debuted. The Virginia husband-and-wife folk singers have been frequent guests ever since, even forming the Hopeful Gospel Quartet that included Kate MacKenzie and Keillor himself. It's not hard to discern why Keillor kept inviting the Williamses back. Their combination of irreverent humor and genuine affection for small-town America echoed the host's own "Lake Wobegon" monologues.

Now the duo has collected 14 of its favorite performances from "A Prairie Home Companion" on a new album, "Radio Songs." The bits, from 1993 through 2005, include five originals and two extended medleys. Six were recorded with the Williamses' regular band, plus there are collaborations with the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, the bluegrass band Mountain Heart, old-time musicians Mike Seeger and Peter Ostroushko, and Keillor's house musicians, Guy's All-Star Shoe Band. Whether it's the moving Vietnam Memorial ballad, "50,000 Names," or the hilarious sendup of late-night TV ads for country records, the disc is the perfect souvenir from years of radio pleasure.

-- Geoffrey Himes

Appearing Saturday as part of a Hank Williams tribute show at the Birchmere (703-549-7500, Show starts at 7:30.

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