Amanda and I are going to see The Civil Wars this Friday night and I’m pretty stoked. The Civil Wars is a duo comprised of Joy Williams and John Paul White. Joy Williams enjoyed some success as a solo artist in the CCM industry in the early 2000’s and has since focused on songwriting. John Paul White’s songs have been picked up by a bunch of country artists and he’s released a solo album as well. Together, they create a really smooth, laid-back but vocally soaring sound that is fun to chill out to. You can download their live album for free from their website, www.thecivilwars.com or on Noisetrade. Again, it's free so give it a shot! Also, I’ve heard them do some cool covers of Leonard Cohen, Sade and The Romantics, so they’ve got good taste!
“Poison & Wine” is a great 2 voice, 2 instrument song. The uncluttered arrangement of Joy’s piano and John Paul’s guitar create a subtle yet sturdy foundation for their vocals to really join together and shine. I really like the lyrics too. I’m a sucker for lines that juxtapose conflicting ideas beside each other to create an interesting and ironic symmetry. (Wow, I promise I’m far less pretentious than that sentence would have you believe.) Having them trade lines in the verses really drives the contradictions home. His line, “You only know what I want you to” followed by her line, “I know everything you don’t want me to” is both simple and genius. My favorite line is at the end of the second verse: “I don’t have a choice but I still choose you.” That one gets me every time. My heart decided long, long ago that Amanda was the only one for me, period, end of story; but it’s still fun to wake up every morning and have my head say this is the girl I truly want to spend every moment with. Although there is no choice to be made, I’ll continue to make the same one everyday."Poison & Wine" - The Civil Wars (Live at Eddie's Attic)