Barton Hollow, the first full length album from California to Nashville transplant Joy Williams and her handsome Alabamian partner, John Paul White, dropped in February 2011 – a musical canon in the busy pop/country industry. Rave reviews of the album set the wheels of the tour bus in motion early last year as The Civil Wars play to sold out venues in nearly every city they visit; Louisville sold out within days of the announcement.
Joy’s graceful knee-length dress added to the elegant ambiance of the evening as her voice echoed beautifully in slight, yet necessary contrast to John Paul’s acoustic guitar. Armed with a deep, southern voice, White wore a traditional tuxedo for his Louisville debut. The attire only added to the concert’s eloquence as The Civil Wars sang original tracks from Barton Hollow, as well as a surprise acoustic version of Billie Jean by Michael Jackson.
Williams and White prefer to forego an accompanying band. Without the distracting background noise from additional instruments and equipment, a welcoming and calm silence overcame the audience. White commented on playing at The Brown Theatre, “Louisville is neat. It’s like home. This theatre is rich with history and I can’t wait to come back.” The entrancing sounds of Williams’ voice in conjunction with her ‘out front’ stage appearance brought the audience into her world; guests were taken to another place in time with the music. Their passion spins ‘lyrical gold’.
Joy and John Paul are already in Kansas for their next performance as they plan to complete their, now sold out, American tour in early February. As for the remaining dates on the tour, The Civil Wars will travel to Europe, with dates sold out across the region. Nashville, now home to both, will be calling as the tour ends in early April and the duet can spend some quality time in the studio before hopefully traveling back up the road to Louisville.
Cover photo: Courtesy of The Civil Wars