Robin and Linda Williams: Yo, IT'S WINTER

Dear Friends,

WINTER!! Are you experiencing a more severe early 2014 than usual?  We certainly are. This old farm house that we've lived in for almost forty years is not one that deals with extreme cold serenely. Over the years it's provided us with more than our share of frozen and busted pipes and we've responded by becoming good at soldering copper pipes in cold, wet crawl spaces. Having developed this skill we've decided we don't like it all that much and have consequently thrown a sizeable amount of money at the problem, the bulk of which has shown positive results.

And then there is our old furnace that has decided it wants some tender love and care and has twice this winter shut down, both times with single digit temperatures either lingering nearby or dead upon us - with us heading out of town.  But we've got some good furnace guys and we have endured and, for the most part, have done so in good humor.

And how about traveling in wintertime? We checked in on a musician friend when we saw he was heading into some bad weather and he responded by saying, "The next time you hear of me planning a winter tour, I want you to let the air out of my van tires." So far we have been fortunate. We were in upstate New York and in Michigan in January and made all the gigs and returned home safely and unscathed. We have another wintery trip coming up so please keep your fingers crossed for us.

We've gotten some new music together as we've hunkered down next to the gas logs. Last weekend we had a couple of fun nights, the first in Grand Rapids, MI at Aquinas College and the second at the Mid-Winter Singing Festival in East Lansing.  At the MWSF we led 400 folks in singing not only a few repertoire pieces but also some completely new songs, songs like "Chug A Lug," "Rawhide," "Remember Me," "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight," and "The L and N Don't Stop Here Anymore." Leading that many people in singing was an unusual experience, especially with so many unfamiliar tunes. But the audience was in full voice and the night was quite memorable.

That brings us to the death of Pete Seeger. We closed the evening with a stage full of other singers and the audience standing, all of us singing Pete's songs, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "If I Had A Hammer." It was a fitting end to the night as there was no one better at this kind of group singing that Pete Seeger.  His influence in all realms of American music has been profound and we're convinced that we wouldn't have had a life in music without him. Most of us wouldn't have, even if we don't know it. He was a deeply principled person and musician and his legacy will live on and on.

In the Big News Around Here department, Robin woke up last Sunday morning and realized his double vision, a by-product of his falling of a roof last summer, had, after almost eight months, gone away. Just like that! Gone! Hallelujah!!

Bumper Sticker of the month: Sarah Palin for President, 2012: The world is supposed to end anyway (seen on a Prius in Greensboro, NC)

We're looking forward to February's work with Jim Watson and Chris Brashear. As we often say in the south, "It don't hardly get no better than that!" We hope to see you at one of the stops along the way.

Your pals,
Robin and Linda

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BOOKINGS: Trish Galfano, Myriad Artists,