The Civil Wars Find ‘Perfect Situation’ With Adele
In 2009, Joy Williams and John Paul White were two singer-songwriters who were just getting acclimated to life as a newly-formed duo, the Civil Wars. Now, two years later, the pair have heard their song 'Poison & Wine' performed on the hit TV show, 'Grey's Anatomy,' have CMA and CMT award nominations, garnered a fan base of famous faces, and are traveling all over the globe performing their music. It is, they concede, a bona fide dream come true.
"The word that always comes straight to mind is "whirlwind," John Paul admits to CMT of their busy year. "We had lofty expectations of what we wanted to happen, but what's happened this year has far, far, far surpassed what we thought we could do. In our first week of sales, we did probably five times what we were expecting to do, and everything since then has been that sort of thing. Lots of stuff crossed off our bucket list. It's pretty overwhelming. We've kind of got blinders on right now trying to keep our heads about us."
The Civil Wars released their debut album, 'Barton Hollow,' in February, and immediately received accolades from Taylor Swift and Sara Bareilles, among others. Their instant success inspired them to embark on their first solo tour last month, which includes dates in the United States, Canada and Europe, as well as opening several show for pop star Adele in the U.K.
"This is a perfect situation for us because, number one, we've worked with Adele before, and she's a sweetheart, and we're all semi-family now," John Paul notes. "But number two, you know she's gonna have packed houses at all these places, lots of cities that we've never even been to. And on top of that, it's the types of crowds that are gonna be attentive. They're gonna pay attention and at least give us a shot. It won't be a typical pop/Top 40 crowd that are just there to see the headliner. I think it will be a really good, knowledgeable audience, and it's up to us whether we can make fans out of them."
The duo also hope to collaborate with the 23-year-old British singing sensation on her upcoming album of "American styles," some of which she hopes to record in Nashville. "When we went out on tour with her last time, we were just acquaintances. We didn't really know each other that well. By the end of the tour, we were super-fast friends, but it wasn't ever where we had that sort of situation. We're traveling separately, and there's not a lot of time to collaborate other than just hanging out, having drinks ... and more drinks and more drinks. But this time around, we'll be together for a month and sharing some transportation, so who knows? Anytime that you're in those sorts of situations, it's always a whole lot better served if you don't push it, and if it happens, it happens."
"We would not be bummed if she came and hung out in Nashville," adds Joy. "She's amazing and she has incredible instincts. And I know Adele has been following us since the very beginning. So if she wants to make a rootsy album, I'm standing on tiptoes, and John Paul and I both are cheering her on in whatever she wants to do next."
The Civil Wars will play a series of shows in the United Kingdom through the rest of September, before returning to the states to play in California, Alabama and Georgia. Keep track of their tour schedule here.