The Civil Wars Split, For Now

The Civil WarsThe rumblings started several days ago. While on a well-reviewed UK leg of their current tour the news of cancellations of upcoming shows in Michigan, Florida and 2013 tour dates of Australia & New Zealand were announced. Emails for details were not returned.

Then today the other show dropped. From The Civil Wars official Facebook and Twitter account:

“We sincerely apologize for the canceling of all of our tour dates. It is something we deeply regret. However, due to internal discord (SP) and irreconcilable differences of ambition we are unable to continue as a touring entity at this time. We thank each and every one of you for your amazing love & support. Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013.

– Joy Williams & John Paul White.”

After seeing them recently at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and watching their set stream from the Austin City Limits Festival there was no sign of tension or discord.  On the contrary, Nashville vets  Joy Williams and John Paul White appeared outwardly to be having the time of their lives. Working with T Bone Burnett and Taylor Swift on the Hunger Games soundtrack,  a pair of Grammys and an Americana Music Association award for Duo/Group of the Year, a gold album and new album underway and some of the biggest audiences in their young career it was easy to see why.  Last week the couple released a cover of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” as part of a Holidays Rule compilation also featuring Paul McCartney and others. The tipping point for super stardom for the duo was now. It must have been something serious to tip things the other way.

For a couple of performers of songs of love and heartache that so many people assumed were a romantically involved couple the ending comes off as a bitter break up.

The end of groups are almost never permanent and the wording of the statement alludes to only touring and “…to have new music for you in 2013.” The tone of the announcement is certainly gives hope for future collaboration.

The reason for the halt to the tour might be that new mother Joy Williams simply wanted to be with her husband Nate Yetton, the duo’s manager, and their only son Miles Alexander which was born last Summer.  But this is just speculation.

I have always championed The Civil Wars as a shining light of the commercially desirable wing of the Americana brand that did not have to compromise their talent to gain that mass acceptance.  Here’s to a quick respite for this excellent band.

13 thoughts on “The Civil Wars Split, For Now

  1. November 7, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Very sad. I hope they can come together again and continue their collaboration.

    Sudden fame can be overwhelming and it looks like it got the best of them.

  2. redarts
    November 8, 2012 at 12:53 am

    There is a little known duo that could fill the void, “Ry Dalee and Evangeline”

  3. Baron Lane
    November 8, 2012 at 5:45 am

    redarts – thanks for the heads- up. You just gave me a great idea for a post!

  4. daveatx
    November 22, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Seems very odd that either John Paul or Joy would agree to do the UK tour and then call it quits after 5-6 shows due to “internal discord”…they’ve been writing, playing, touring and singing together for 4 years now. I think something happened on the tour bus that should not have happened.

  5. Boobala
    February 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Watch Austin City Limits again. They didn’t seem as cohesive as usual.

  6. Baron Lane
    February 4, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    it was all very odd.

  7. March 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

    It’s sad, what people accuse them of after claiming to be their “fans.” Great chemistry doesn’t always translate to an affair, but we as a culture are so addicted to scandal that we just want to assume the worst of other people because our own lives are so very uninteresting.

    Keep your gossip to yourselves. Joy and John Paul are real, honest-to-goodness people just like the rest of us, and they’ve chosen to share their wonderful gifts with the world. They and their families don’t owe you their dignity and peace of mind.

  8. Baron Lane
    March 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Rikomenzies, i agree wholeheartedly. But i don’t believe anyone here is suggesting an affair. I know I’m not.

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