First things first, up until recently I had no idea who The Civil Wars were until luckily enough I got this assignment. During my research I’ve found something incredibly endearing and quite possibly some of the most beautiful music that I’ve heard this year, and when I tell you that I’m a guy with 400 odd albums in his iTunes you know that there’s competition.
Comprising of John Paul White and the painfully beautiful Joy Williams The Civil Wars released their EP Poison & Wine and a live album Live At Eddie’s Attic in 2009. But in February of this year they gave the world their studio album debut Barton Hollow earning strong reviews wherever it appeared. Their alternative country style will have strong appeal both to new comers to folk but also to those who have had Neil Young vinyl in their collection for 30 years.
Armed with just a lone guitar they have managed to create a sound that really only uses music for a simple backing to their warming sound. They are an undeniable force no matter what your style of music listening is. There is very little doubt of their music’s power, a mix of songs about love Forget Me Not, old style almost gospel Barton Hollow and the heart breaking tales of family My Father’s Father all have a different sense about them really conveying the sense of depth to the talented song writing.
This is a band certainly on the raise to something bigger and having had a couple of UK dates under their belt along with a host of US ones their star is on the rise. I for one am converted and will be keeping my fingers crossed that next time they find themselves in the UK that they’ll add Glasgow to the list of gig venues.
Words by Matthew Foran