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2011 debut full length from the Folk/Country duo. The Civil Wars consists of John Paul White, hailing from Florence, AL and Joy Williams, originally from Santa Cruz, CA, but now residing in East Nashville. The duo's chance meeting a year and a half ago fueled an immediate songwriting chemistry and creative synergy. Their second show ever, performed at a sold out Eddie's Attic, was recorded and released as a free digital album. Of the duo, Reg's Coffee House host, Scott Register, praises: 'In my 13 years on the radio, few of the artists I've championed had as immediate a reaction as The Civil Wars. When I first spun 'Poison & Wine' listeners couldn't get enough of it and wanted to own it immediately. This band has the 'it' factor that you look for. Don't miss out.'
|Audio CD Release Date:||February 01, 2011|
|Number Of Discs:||1|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 582 reviews|
|1. ||20 Years|
|2. ||I ve Got This Friend|
|3. ||C est La Mort|
|4. ||To Whom It May Concern|
|5. ||Poison & Wine|
|6. ||My Father s Father|
|7. ||Barton Hollow|
|8. ||The Violet Hour|
|9. ||Girl With the Red Balloon|
|11. ||Forget Me Not|
|12. ||Birds of a Feather|
|Average Customer Review: ( 582 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
114 of 123 found the following review helpful:
The Civil Wars' chemistry is so provocative, it's almost obscene Feb 05, 2011
The Civil Wars' chemistry is so provocative, it's almost obscene. Their reputation has preceded this album thanks to their electrifying and magnetic live shows. Now that their album is released, the music is artfully crafted, the lyrics are evocative and dripping with pain, and it's a steal at $7.99 for that kind of experience that you could find anywhere else. When Joy sings passion, her voice is drenched with tears and honey while John Paul's is a perfect complement with just his acoustic guitar. I got a chance to interview the band last year ([..;]) and their chemistry is just as powerful in-person as it is on the album. I'm so excited that they've received all of this critical acclaim as they deserve it. After all the garbage that terrestrial radio puts out, this is a breath of fresh air that should be celebrated! Best wishes to The Civil Wars!
100 of 110 found the following review helpful:
Barton Hollow - a must have Feb 02, 2011
The only disappointing thing about this CD is that it has only 12 songs. You will be wanting more - probably why I've listened over and over again. But do not despair - they are skillful writers and are going to be around for a while. I heard them live Monday night (they're even better live), and they sang some songs they are working on - be on the look out for Oh Henry in the future. Their chemistry combined with their passion for music sets a new, refreshing standard. The beginning harmonies in the title track "Barton Hollow" smacks of a Delta Blues harmonica. You don't have to be a fan of country, bluegrass, or blues to enjoy this music. Listening you will be witness to shear musical genius.
46 of 49 found the following review helpful:
The Civil Wars - Appeal to the better angels of our nature Feb 07, 2011
By Red on Black
A trip to Memphis Tennessee a few years back continues to pay dividends and can I thank a number of American friends for this recommendation. The Civil Wars are a duo consisting of John Paul White, hailing from Florence, Alabama and Joy Williams, originally from Santa Cruz, CA, but now residing in East Nashville. They have already altruistically shared a free concert album "Live at Eddie's attic" which remains available on their My space site for those of you seeking fine new music and now we have this wonderful debut album "Barton Hollow" to delight our aural senses. The word which best epitomises this record is "passionate". Check out the performance of the swampy folk title track they unveiled on the Jay Leno show and try not to be smitten by its drive and force. There is certainly is a "mixed doubles" Avett Brothers quality to their music but equally the duo evoke the fine pedigree of a Welch and Rawlings with their great singing voices and haunting melodies.
At the heart of "Barton Hollow" is the songwriting and none is finer that the brilliant alt country ballad "Poison and Wine" possibly the finest song I have heard this year and one you should send out a search party to locate. It builds slowly and deliberately and the vocals of White in particular resonate with emotion, building to a lovely climax. Opener "20 years" harks bark to that great forgotten American duo the Swell Season and is a heartbreaking country lament destined to take Nashville by storm. It is song that Emmylou Harris should record immediately. "The girl with the red balloon" has a ancient quality about it which the Fleet Foxes tapped into on their eponymous debut, while the haunting instrumental "Violet Hour" repays repeated plays. Anyone who listens to the beautiful "Falling" where this time Williams emerges as a true star, is destined to emerge with a broken heart, ditto the wistful "To whom it may concern" a rolling acoustic ballad so light it could be lifted by a breeze. All this points to the chemistry between the two singers which must suggest more than a platonic friendship bearing in mind the intensity they whip up on songs like the pure Nashville orientated "Forget me not" which had this reviewer daydreaming of fond memories of the Parsons and Harris classic partnership. A debut this good deserves wider recognition not least in recent years since like minded bands who have ploughed this furrow such as the Everbodyfields, Bowerbirds, Anthony Da Costa and Abby Gardner have not achieved their just desserts. The Civil Wars have been described as the coolest duo since the White Stripes a unfair comparison since they work in very different traditions. That said anyone who listens to the Civil Wars brilliant cover of the Jackson 5's "I want you back" must regret that they are not a public limited company since you will want a share of this action.
25 of 25 found the following review helpful:
Watching two birds soar! Apr 28, 2011
Have you ever watched two birds performing their courting dance in the air? Swooping, diving, soaring acrobatics with perfect timing; intertwining, separating and, suddenly, intertwined once again...John Paul White and Joy Williams voices working their music together, and separately, so remind me of these acrobatics that, at times, I see those birds flying and am separated from my everyday, becoming lost in the sky for a moment with them.
Their songwriting has depth rarely encountered these days. The lyrics are so poetical, evoking scenes which vary from one persons mind to another, as life's experiences dictate, while the music perfectly compliments with a depth of poetry all its own. The music is hard to classify. It crosses over styles, creating a place all its own.
The singing of the pair, with their barely restrained emotion, touches a person deeply. You know that you are hearing something very special when listening to this wonderful combination of music and lyric writing, brought to life with the soaring, gentle, harsh, loving vocals of these two unique and greatly talented individuals. Two, who have happily come together to make what I believe to be a perfect album collection. Few better performances can be found anywhere, in any time period, in any musical genre.
I have been around a long time. I have performed and listened to an ocean of music. Music is my first love. And I draw on this experience to highly recommend this album to you. This is music which has many elements of greatness, yes; but more importantly it is wonderfully listenable. It grows even more so as you continue to explore its depth.
44 of 51 found the following review helpful:
A stellar debut Feb 02, 2011
By Count Istvan Telecky
My daughter, a musician and song writer, introduced me to The Civil Wars in December. As she gets excited about a lot of new music, I was not prepared to be absolutely blown away! I've been looking forward to this release ever since. So many new acts (old ones too for that matter) are 95% style and 5% substance. No concerns in that regard here. Such immediate affection for new music is unusual for me. Can't wait to see how it 'ages'.
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