Friday, February 25, 2011

Personal | The Civil Wars

It's probably a fair bet that you've heard of The Civil Wars, by now. Even if only in the last couple of weeks, as they've hit instant and massive success on iTunes (and pretty much all-platforms-musical) with their debut album "Barton Hollow". And for good reason, too. Because they, and the album, are incredible.

With the risk of sounding like a musical snob, though, I have to say that I'm proud to not be a bandwagon-jumper when it comes to this brilliant duo. Because of the fact that 1/2 of the band happens to be Joy Williams (former CCM star of whom I was a fan), my interest was piqued the first time she mentioned this "musical project" she was doing on the side with this guy named John Paul White. They called themselves The Civil Wars, and they sang smooth, folksy tunes with harmonious perfection. It only took one listen for me to be sold. And for these past 2-ish years, I've been waiting with baited breath for a full album to come out.

So, you can only imagine how excited I was when I found out that just a little over a week after said album released, they were going to be playing a show in Charlottesville, VA at The Southern - only about an hour away from me. There was no way I was going to miss it, and after just a little coaxing, my darling husband agreed to take me and even turn it into a Valentine's weekend in the adorable Charlottesville area. I call that a win-win!

Upon arriving at the venue I ran into several girls that I know (a few fellow photographers, even) and it was the perfect night of fun, fellowship and positively magnificent melodies. The Civil Wars are rightfully being deemed one of the best new things to hit the music scene, because they sound flawless live and are delightful in all ways. If they're coming ANYWHERE near you on tour, do yourself a favor and go see them. You'll be eternally grateful that you did.

Anyway, what good would an amazing concert (with a front-row spot!) be without pictures? Not as good, that's what. So, here are some shots from the show.

The magical night was started off with the catchy tunes of Indie singer Lucy Schwartz who I can also say I'm now a fan of.

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Lucy was cute, talented, entertaining, and very enjoyable. A perfect opening for the main event....

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Though they've apparently never played, nor been to, Charlottesville before, it was a very welcoming crowd that clearly were already familiar and in-love with their music. It made for some great crowd interaction, sing-alongs, and a happily surprised Joy & John Paul.

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Joy is talented in a number of ways - she can sing anything, play multiple instruments, annnnd move around stage with graceful balance in some killer heels. She's basically my hero.

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Also, she has the most beautiful, genuine, infectious smile and laugh. A perfect pairing with her name.

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John Paul got referred to as "Johnny Depp" by my husband all evening. He's probably not the first person to recognize a slight resemblance there, though I tried to keep Aaron from loudly calling him that in between songs...

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You can tell they have so much fun together - and that translates into great musical and stage chemistry.

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I'm SO incredibly happy they came to this area and that I had the pleasure of seeing them. It ties for the best concert I've ever been to (in great company with Brandi Carlile & MuteMath/Eisley) and what makes them even more fabulous and loveable is their sincere down-to-earth-ness. They're real people, not celebrities (though their status is quickly becoming that) and that's a refreshing quality I hope they always hold onto.

In summary, if you don't already love them....go ahead and start. They're becoming popular for a reason - they deserve to be.


  1. Awesome. Front row seats! I'm so jealous :)

  2. I was there- right on with everything you said. They are truly amazing- best concert ever!

  3. Oh- and absolutely stunning pictures!!

  4. this is awesome. i love the civil wars. i too knew about them way before the rest of the world. joy williams was my favorite singer growing up, and i still followed her work. they did a concert in my area but sadly i couldn't go. i'm sure it was an amazing concert. and i really love the quality of the photos. concert photography is so tough. i don't know why they always insist on using red light.