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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Civil Wars - Appeal to the better angels of our nature
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...
Published on 7 Feb 2011 by Red on Black

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If it isn't live...?
I bought this album on the strength of TCWs set on Jools Holland Live, which was in all respects as remarkable a debut perhaps as k t tunstall some years ago. A little research took me to find their live set, from their second ever gig in the 'Attic'. Once again I was blown away, so perhaps expectations were raised for their first studio album. Most of their self penned...
Published on 6 Nov 2011 by I. Melvin


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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Civil Wars - Appeal to the better angels of our nature, 7 Feb 2011
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Red on Black - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Barton Hollow (MP3 Download)
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 certainly is a kind of "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.

PS - their Oct 2011 performance on Jools Holland was scintillating including a cover of "Billie Jean" and a roaring version of this albums title track. Well worth seeking out.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Higly recommended, 15 May 2011
By 
Stan FREDO (BORDEAUX, Aquitaine, France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Barton Hollow (Audio CD)
This is a very good 12-song album that encompasses pop, folk, Americana, classical music and blues. The songs have tunes and interesting lyrics. They are expertly performed and deliciously sung. If you liked Jenny & Johnny's I'm Having Fun Now, you will absolutely love this album.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only all civil wars were inspired like this, 13 April 2011
This review is from: Barton Hollow (Audio CD)
This is simply the best new country set i've heard in a long ,long time. The vocal harmonies are haunting and accompanied by sparce yet fluid arrangements that hypnotise and draw you in. As a debut album they may have just given themselves a massive task to better it with a follow up album, that said I hope they are prolific composers and that a second album won't be long. I for one will buy it. Anyone who has Duhks, Nickel Creek or Crooked Still albums must add this to their collections.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 7 Oct 2011
This review is from: Barton Hollow [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I heard the Civil Wars perform Barton Hollow on Later with Joules Holland and bought this album the next day - its the best song Ive heard and I strongly recommend it to everyone!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just get a copy!, 14 Aug 2011
By 
Graham King (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Barton Hollow (Audio CD)
It's not only the way they harmonise. It's the way Joy Williams' voice weaves around JP's lines. They both go their way but stay together. It's the quirky and often mystifying lyrics. It's the underlying humour. It's the total charisma. Oh yes, she's beautiful too but, hey, I can handle being in love.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Birds of a Feather, 15 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Barton Hollow (Audio CD)
Really enjoyed this album despite all the massive and overblown hype.The songs and the inter-changing of the singing parts works extremely well.Some of the songs drag slightly but that is not anyway being critical of the expertise shown in their song writing.There is no doubt that their singing styles come together well and its probably safe to say that it won't be until their next album that The Civil Wars true staying power can be assessed but Barton Hollow is by all accounts a great start.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Civil War Just Heavenly Music, 24 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Barton Hollow (Audio CD)
Since buying this album it's been on constant replay. Two voices that blend and bring songs to life in a way rarely heard these days. Simple vocals which touch the heart. Magic. More please!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album of 2012, 22 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Barton Hollow (Audio CD)
Having heard a few tracks by this duo on YouTube, I decided to buy the album. The blend of their two voices is so good that you would think that it's the same person. All of their songs are on the dark side, hence their name The Civil Wars. I would recommend this album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the Civil Wars!, 7 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Barton Hollow (Audio CD)
This is the first album released by this amazingly talented musical duo. Their voices and personalities are perfectly matched, sparking off each other and their effortless harmonies create a sound that I could listen to ad infinitum. It is a brilliant mix of folk, blues and a little bit rock and roll. Perfect!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Recommendation, 4 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Barton Hollow (Audio CD)
A client/friend suggested i may like this - boy he was so wrong. Like it? LOVE it!! The mix of different styles - the guitar playing - the voices - the female lead voice. SUPERB. I also looked at a You Tube rendition of Billy Jean from a Jules Holland Show - watch that and i guarantee you will buy the album......be sure to buy the Amazon version which has bonus tracks. Mine is almost worn down by being played at home, in the car and in the office....
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Barton Hollow
Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars
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