Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Band Alert: The Civil Wars

I think I may be the last one in America to discover The Civil Wars, the amazing duo of singer-songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White.  Their song "Poison and Wine" was featured in it's entirety on Grey's Anatomy; they've been on Leno and Letterman; they've opened for Adele; they were featured as a VH1 "You Oughta Know" artist; both of their hit singles have been receiving heavy airplay on VH1 and CMT; they were nominated for AMA, CMT and CMA awards; they got the stamp of approval from America's sweetheart and biggest pop country star, Taylor Swift, and the list goes on.  Their album Barton Hollow debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Digital Albums chart and No. 12 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.
I've officially been under a rock.  To be fair, though, I don't watch much TV, I don't listen to the radio and I really only listen to quite independent musicians usually.  BUT...on my sister's days off, VH1's Jumpstart is on the telly, so I've heard their two singles and finally decided to download their album, Barton Hollow, this weekend.  Amazing.  It's folk meets bluegrass meets rock and it's wonderful.  Williams and White's voices combine in beautiful harmonies that stir the soul.  The Nashville-based duo's bare-bones take on music is refreshing coming from a music industry that is increasingly focused on overproduction and throwing as much digital manipulation and auto-tune as possible into every song.
Williams comes from a pop background, citing The Beach Boys as an influence.  White could not be further from that, calling on Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash for inspiration.  These influences combine to make something altogether new, although with a decidedly Southern flair.
The Civil Wars' first full-length album, Barton Hollow, is available both on Amazon ($4.99) and iTunes ($7.99).

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