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The Civil Wars On World Cafe

The Civil Wars performed on <em>World Cafe</em>.
Tec Petaja
The Civil Wars performed on World Cafe.

John Paul White and Joy Williams hail from very different parts of the country (Alabama and California, respectively), and both are free spirits when it comes to their solo music careers. But when the two crossed paths at a songwriting camp in Nashville, the rest, as they say, is history. Both knew that they had some special collaborative magic, and they've managed to mix their songwriting styles into something truly moving.

Months after meeting, they played a show in Nashville where their future producer was present — and entranced. Their second show was taped and released on their website, and has since been downloaded by 100,000 people — and that number is growing every day. The Civil Wars' sparse, melodic pop, full of retro country influences, is powerful yet tempered. It's accessible as well — White and Williams count country-pop princess Taylor Swift as a big fan.

The Civil Wars' full-length debut, Barton Hollow, was released in February, and its emotional chamber-folk really showcases White and Williams' chemistry. Hear the duo talk about their songwriting and play a few songs live, including "Poison & Wine," which was featured on Grey's Anatomy.

This World Cafe segment originally aired May 10.

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