Robin and Linda Williams charm the M-Shop yet again

The duo blended their voices to harmonize through every song. Their music, a blend of bluegrass and folk, is the perfect format for telling stories of years long passed.

Jacob Beals

After the clock struck 8 p.m. on Thursday night at the Maintenance Shop, Robin and Linda Williams stepped down the stairs at the back of the room to much applause. The music and fun began as they took the stage for the forty-eighth time in venue’s history.

Robin and Linda have a way of charming an audience like no other artists. From their greeting at the start of the show, all the way to the end, the positive energy never stopped.

“Aren’t you sweet for coming out here on a Thursday night?” Linda said.

The couple had nice banter between them, it was always fun to see what they were going to say to each other. Their interactions gave the audience a unique glimpse at their relationship. Together they joked, shared memories and introduced each song in a way that felt sweet and sentimental.  

Along with interacting back and forth, they were also very good at enticing the audience. It made me feel like I had known Robin and Linda for a very long time, even though it was my first show with them.

Their set list consisted of many originals with some covers thrown in. They danced between the genres of folk, Americana, bluegrass country and gospel. The duo both played acoustic guitars, but from time to time Robin would play a harmonica and Linda would get play a banjo.

All of their music felt relatable and down to earth as they took many things that happened in their own lives and applied it to their songs.

The two always had a story about each song that was played. Their music dealt with topics like family, friends, relationships, heartbreak and more. I was genuinely intrigued by their tales of songwriting, and all of their music lived up to the charming introductions.

Even the covers they played felt personalized. The duo made songs like Bob Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather” and Charlie Rich’s “Life has its Little Ups and Downs” into something unique, as they put in their own style. But, their cover of Greg Brown’s “The Cheapest Kind” felt really special. They sang it with so much energy and the crowd really got into it.

The duo always gave off this vibe that they were just having fun. Nothing about the way they played felt phoned in. In fact, it all felt very natural. I think the best performers are the ones who can go up on stage and just have a good time; Robin and Linda gave off that kind of vibe.

That feeling they capture must resonate with other people too, as almost every seat in the Maintenance Shop was filled. Many could be seen singing along with the duo throughout the night, and every song was met with a warm reaction.

It is nice to know artists like Robin and Linda make it a point to stop in Ames almost every year. The charm and love they bring to a stage really makes them stand out as an act. For over forty years the M-Shop has welcomed them, and this show continued to prove why.