John Paul White and Joy Williams hail from very different parts of the country (Alabama and California, respectively), and both are free spirits when it comes to their solo music careers. But when the two crossed paths at a songwriting camp in Nashville, the rest, as they say, is history. Both knew that they had some special collaborative magic, and they've managed to mix their songwriting styles into something truly moving.
Months after meeting, they played a show in Nashville where their future producer was present — and entranced. Their second show was taped and released on their website, and has since been downloaded by 100,000 people — and that number is growing every day. The Civil Wars' sparse, melodic pop, full of retro country influences, is powerful yet tempered. It's accessible as well — White and Williams count country-pop princess Taylor Swift as a big fan.
The Civil Wars' full-length debut, Barton Hollow, was released in February, and its emotional chamber-folk really showcases White and Williams' chemistry. Hear the duo talk about their songwriting and play a few songs live, including "Poison & Wine," which was featured on Grey's Anatomy. (link)
Playlist - HOUR ONE
Midlake "Roscoe" The Trials Of Van Oaccupanther
Death Cab for Cutie "You're a Tourist" Codes and Keys
Pearl Jam "Daughter" Vs.
Emmylou Harris "The Road" Hard Bargain
Lone Justice "Shelter" Shelter
The Civil Wars "Forget Me Not" Recorded Live for the World cafe
The Civil Wars "20 Years" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
The Civil Wars "Poison & Wine" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
The Head and The Heart "Lost In My Mind" The Head and The Heart
Aztec Camera "Oblivious" High Land, Hard Rain
Playlist - HOUR TWO
David & David "Ain't So Easy" Boomtown
My Morning Jacket "Holding On To Black Metal" Circuital
Raphael Saadiq "Stone Rollin'" Stone Rollin'
The Kills "Baby Says" Blood Pressures
Matisyahu "King Without A Crown" Live at Stubb's
Calexico "Quattro" Feast of Wire
REM "Mine Smells Like Honey" Collapse Into Now
Phoenix "1901" Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Spoon "Written In Reverse" Transference
Brett Dennen "Sydney, I'll Come Running" Loverboy
Van Morrison "Come Running" Moondance
Jules & The Polar Bears "You Just Don't Wanna Know" Got No Breeding
The Cars "Sad Song" Move Like This
The Buggles "Video Killed The Radio Star" The Island Story