"Through bands like The Civil Wars, a new music industry is born." - LA Times
Paste Magazine's 'Best of What's Next'
"The Civil Wars are the BEST live band I have EVER seen." - ADELE
"The Civil Wars are a bonafide phenomenon." - KCRW
Joy Williams, who as one-half of the hitmaking duo scored two Grammy Awards this year, welcomed her first child, a son, with hubby Nate Yetton on Saturday.
The proud mama tweeted the news, in which she also revealed her tot's oh-so-distinguished name.
Ladies and gents, let's all welcome... Miles Alexander!
MUSIC duo The Civil Wars have had quite a year - not only did they win two Grammys at the 2012 ceremony in February (for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Folk Album), but they also supported Vogue cover girl Adele on her last tour, with the singer herself describing the pair as the "best live band I have ever seen".
The Civil Wars' second performance was released as a live album on the band's website and has been downloaded more than 130,000 times. The group's first full-length studio album, Barton Hollow, was released in February and debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200, and was the top album on iTunes for the same week. The song "Poison and Wine," featured in a climactic montage in an episode of Grey's Anatomy, acted as an entry point for a lot of listeners.
OLOIZIA: Your career as a duo has been full of these sort of matchstick moments, perhaps none bigger than "Poison and Wine" appearing on Grey's Anatomy. Did you have a pretty good idea of what that might do for you?
WILLIAMS: No, I don't think we had any concept of the magnitude of that placement. We were shocked and flabbergasted when we got the call that it was even being placed. Truth is, we didn't even have the song up on iTunes, nor did we have a music video. So we scrambled within a week's time to get everything squared away, and when it played on the show, it was a very surreal moment.
OLOIZIA: I think your music lends itself to that kind of intimate experience.
WHITE: Well, thank you. That's where it grew from in the beginning, just [Joy] and I on guitar writing all these songs. So once we went out and played them, you know, financially it made the most sense. And since they were created that way, they kind of translated live the same way. By the time we went into the studio to record them, we pretty much had the arrangements down the way we wanted, and when we'd add other instrumentation, most things that we added would just get in the way. It ended up being a really minimal record, without us really intending to do that. It just kind of worked out that way.
"A lot of people think that we're married, and I think that's actually quite flattering, to be honest," says White. "Because we don't want people to think that we're up here acting and feigning the emotions that we write and sing about and show on stage. But one of the things that really make this special in our eyes is that if she and I were in a relationship together, it'd be a totally different act. We would write totally different songs. I don't think we would be able to go on stage every night and sing 'I don't love you.' I don't think a healthy relationship could withstand that every single night.
"What we do is kind of a sonic stew of where we're both from and our different experiences," said Williams. "When we're writing the only thing we really consider is, 'do we love it? Do we want to sing and perform it every night?' We pull different parts out of each other to, hopefully, make something unique."
In some ways, music doesn't get much more modest or minimalist than it is in the hands of The Civil Wars, a duo comprised of California-to-Nashville transplant Joy Williams and her Alabaman partner, John Paul White. They travel without a backup band, and on their first full-length album, Barton Hollow, the bare-bones live arrangements that fans hear on the road are fleshed out with just the barest of acoustic accoutrements. Each song is an intimate conversation, and no third wheels or dinner-party chatter are going to interrupt that gorgeous, haunting hush.
Meeting for the first time at a songwriters camp in Nashville, White and Williams connected right away in a collaborative session.
"It was a really eerie moment," White says, adding that they had both collaborated with a number of other musicians over the years. "I knew where she was going. She knew where I was going."
Two years later, White and Williams never would have imagined that this chance meeting would have led to such a strong relationship.