So, here's this story of two songwriters/singers who were both really burned out with solo careers and writing songs for other people, and singing pop songs andadvertising jingles. They were set up on a blind-date by their publishers for a songwriting camp to come up with radio singles for a band which at the time didn't have a name.
Two reluctant, burned-out artists, but at the camp, they clicked. Said John Paul White, "When we started singing together, there was this weird click; it was like there was a dance going where I knew I could lead her but she could lead me, too." And Joy Williams, "In Nashville, it's not uncommon to harmonise with someone but what was strange was that when he started singing it was like I knew where he was going to go before he went there....... meeting John Paul brought this weird feeling of falling in love with music again."
Less than a year later, the band The Civil Wars was formed and performed in Nashville at the French Quarter Cafe, April 7, 2009. Their second live show, April 8 at Eddie's Attic in Decatur, Georgia was recorded and released on their website as a free download. The Civil Wars have an energy and chemistry in their live shows that is amazing to watch (check out their YouTube videos) and to listen to. I think that their best albums are "Live at Eddie's Attic" (musically, but sonically there is much wanting) and "Unplugged on VH1" (recorded early 2012 - very much better sonically).
They really took off when their song Poison and Wine was used in its entirety on an episode of Grey's Anatomy in 2009. That exposed them to millions of fans - including Taylor Swift who tweeted announcing that she was setting her needle back on their vinyl record over and over since there’s no repeat button on a record player. And then Adele blogged that they were "by far the BEST live band I have EVER seen".
Their first studio album, Barton Hallow in 2011 won critical acclaim and the Grammy for Best Folk Album. Between their formation in 2009 and their unfortunate break-up in 2014, The Civil Wars won four Grammys!
I think that their live albums are better, and the ones to get though.