And in the no surprise to anyone category today The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams and John Paul White made their “indefinite hiatus‘ into a musical conscious uncoupling.
the folk-pop duo took to thecivilwars.com to announce the news. As a farewell and thank you to fans, the two are offering a download of their 2010 rendition of the classic “You Are My Sunshine.” The track was originally a b-side to the band’s limited edition Barton Hollow 7″ vinyl. This is the first time the song is available digitally in the U.S.
Joy Williams comments, “I am saddened and disappointed by the ending of this duo, to say the very least. JP is a tremendous musician, and I will always be grateful for the music we were able to create together.I sincerely hope that ‘You Are My Sunshine’ will be accepted as a token of my gratitude for every single person that has supported our duo throughout the years. I’m so thankful and my heart is full. 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.”
John Paul adds, “I would like to express sincere thanks to all who were a part of the arc of The Civil Wars—from the beginning, to the end, and all points in between. My deep appreciation goes out to all who supported, disseminated, and enjoyed the music. Whatever shape or form the next chapter takes, thanks for being a large part of this one.”
Williams and White were already music industry veterans in 2008 when a chance pairing at a Nashville group writing camp shows potential chemistry. In their brief career The Civil Wars helped bring Americana to the mainstream with their best-selling, Grammy-winning, releases and intimate but rousing live performances.
I was lucky to be able to speak to Joy and John Paul in 2009. They showed me the upmost generosity and kindness. “We Really Don’t Fit Anywhere” – The Civil Wars Interview
Here are a few of my favorite Civil Wars performances:
Barton Hollow (Later with Jools Holland)
Poison & Wine (on David Letterman)
“From This Valley” (Live at the Grand Ole Opry)
“Between the Bars” (Elliott Smith cover)
“Sour Times” (Portishead cover)
“Billie Jean” (Michael Jackson Cover)
“You Are My Sunshine” (Live)
And the time I won a bottle of bourbon and they won some Grammys.