The Civil Wars, “Barton Hollow”

“Barton Hollow” was a song about the fear of the consequences of sin.

  American Songwriter was ahead of the curve when we wrote about the Civil Wars in July of 2009, long before most people had ever heard of them, saying, “The Civil Wars are the lovely Joy Williams and the fantastic John Paul White. In addition to their solo careers, Joy & JP have begun The Civil Wars out of an unexpected creative chemistry that has been discovered between the two singer-songwriters.” In less than two years the duo inspired countless singer-songwriters with something that had been missing from music for so long -- the impassioned sound of a single guitar and two voices with great pitch, singing songs with high emotion and substantive lyrical content. While they became known for songs like “Poison and Wine” and “The One That Got Away,” the power, energy and spiritual implications of their second single “Barton Hollow” carried an impact that woke up a lot of people who were complaining about how sterile and predictable music had become. It’s easy to overlook the foundation, the roots, of a song when it’s highly produced. On “Barton Hollow,” producer Charlie Peacock wisely toned down any instrumentation that didn’t add rhythmic drive to the two voices. He recorded the vocals…

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