It shouldn’t have taken me until now to write about The Civil Wars, or at least mention them. Since it has taken me until now to dedicate a Monday Morning Tunes post to them, I have to tell you that this incredible, four-time Grammy Award-winning duo has officially parted ways.
Having been on an “indefinite hiatus” since late 2012, Joy Williams and John Paul White released a statement in early August announcing that their musical partnership had come to an end. The only work the Civil Wars have put out during the time of their hiatus has been the “Bare Bones EP” that featured alternate versions of the songs “Oh Henry” and “Eavesdrop” and acoustic versions of four other, previously-released songs.
As a thank you and farewell to their fans, the Civil Wars offered up their rendition of the song “You Are My Sunshine,” recorded in 2010 and only previously available as a B-side to the band’s limited edition 2011 “Barton Hollow” 7″ vinyl. This is the first time the song has been available digitally in the US.
So why was I compelled to write about the Civil Wars now? Well, it seems as if their song “Poison & Wine” has suddenly appeared everywhere, regardless of the fact that it was released three years ago on the “Barton Hollow” album.
I have a few go-to music resources I utilize throughout a typical workweek and no matter which I put on, this song always eventually shows up. I’ve loved it from the first time I heard it and I know you will too.
“Poison & Wine” was also used in its 3-minute and 39-second entirety during a montage at the end of a season 6 episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Fun fact.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what is truly the best of the Civil Wars. They have received critical acclaim for nearly everything they have released.
In 2012, the Civil Wars won their first and second Grammy Awards, for their album “Barton Hollow” and for Best Country Duo/Group Performance, respectively. The next year they took home their third Grammy in the category of Best Song Written For Visual Media for their collaboration with Taylor Swift on the song “Safe & Sound” for “The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond” soundtrack.
Their 2013 self-titled album helped them scoop up their fourth Grammy in 2014, again for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
It’s unfortunate that the Civil Wars have decided to part ways, especially considering their repeated, widespread success. Then again, that much success has been known to poison relationships. We’ll probably never know why the Civil Wars decided to call it quits, but we do know that Joy Williams will not be leaving the music industry behind.
In their final farewell statement, she said:
Looking ahead, I’m excited to share the music that I am writing and recording in the midst of this difficult transition. I’ve loved being back in the studio, and have missed performing live. I look forward to seeing you soon.”
At least we have that to look forward to.