Three years ago, Glen Hansard and Irglova Marketa, starred in the movie Once, a bittersweet love story framed by the joining of a man and woman’s musical and romantic aspirations. Among the duets the two sing as they use their musical journey together to work through their feelings for each other, is the melancholy Falling Slowly. It deservedly went viral.
Now, as a new musical year rolls in, I am happy to report the duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White have plucked this same bittersweet chord with the song Poison and Wine from their debut record, Barton Hollow. And, the video has gone viral too on youtube. The new record drops February 1.Ms. Williams is the known quantity. She gained notice as a rising star in Christian folk music back in the early eighties, when she was in her late teens. Then American Idol contestant David Archuleta picked up a song of hers, and a year later another song was featured on Grey’s Anatomy. Whereas John Paul White labored as a contract song writer until his debut record The Long Goodbye was released in 2008. The Civil Wars have come out from somewhere shy a tad shy of nowhere.
It makes sense the two met in songwriting camp. I haven’t heard the record, yet the copious videos they’ve made available, the free ep from last year, Live at Eddies (download) have generously set the stage for the duo’s song craft to become much better known. Much has been made of the two’s California meets Nashville synergy. Okay, but their artistry really seems centered on two great songwriters, their deep rapport, and, simple guitar or piano settings.
Check out the collection of videos at The Civil Wars‘ youtube portal. Billie Jean! Allison Rizk, one of my go-to mavens, has produced a nifty article and podcast at Radiopotato.