The Civil Wars: “Barton Hollow”
Joy Williams and John Paul White like to joke about how their group the Civil Wars almost didn’t happen. The two musicians were scheduled to appear at a Nashville songwriters’ workshop in 2008 that neither really wanted to attend, but they both ended up going. After a chance meeting, Williams and White struck up a friendship and musical partnership that resulted in the Civil Wars and a quickly-recorded EP in 2010.
But it was their 2011 full-length debut that lit the world on fire. Barton Hollow won “Best Folk Album” at the 2012 Grammys, and the title track earned the Civil Wars another Grammy for “Best Country Duo/Group Performance.” Collaborations with Taylor Swift increased their profile further, and the duo recently received a coveted prize for “Duo/Group of the Year” from the Americana Music Association.
It’s certainly easy to hear why the Civil Wars keep raking in the praise. Their harmonies are out-of-this-world, recalling great folk, country, and gospel traditions of the past. Williams and White are exceptional performers in their own right, as KUT found out a few years ago. The Civil Wars played a sold-out show in the Texas Union Ballroom–what we like to call the “Cactus Cafe Upstairs”–and brought the house down with their energy and songwriting. “Barton Hollow” comes from that performance and proves the Civil Wars will be around for a long time to come.
You can catch the Civil Wars at the Austin City Limits Music Festival this Sunday, October 14 where they will be playing the AMD Stage at 4:15.