While Joy Williams and John Paul White of the Civil Wars may sound like they’re in love when singing some of the songs on their debut, the pair is not in a romantic partnership, just a musical one. The duo recently released their debut album, “Barton Hollow.”
You might think from hearing them sing “Poison and Wine” that Joy Williams and John Paul White have been making music together for years. But in reality, the two paired during a songwriting camp not too long ago.
They come from totally different parts of the country: Joy is a westerner, from Santa Cruz, California, while John Paul is from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in the southern United States. But when they met at songwriting camp, the two realized they had a very special chemistry. It wasn’t romantic - both are married to other people. In fact, both Joy and John Paul have said in interviews that they believe their onstage partnership works so well because they aren’t a couple - singing songs about love or a heartbreak tune like “Falling” night after night would be too difficult!
Most of the songs on the Civil Wars debut “Barton Hollow” are rootsy ballads, slow tempo songs. But the title track to the CD has more of a groove to it. It’s a bit darker than the other songs on the recording.
It takes a lot of courage for a relatively unknown band to sing one of the legendary Leonard Cohen’s songs, but The Civil Wars included “Dance Me To The End of Love” as a bonus track on their first studio album, “Barton Hollow.”