Friday, 25 November 2011

When Angels Sing - The Civil Wars


There is something extraordinarily beautiful about hearing harmonies sung by a male and female duo. Perhaps it is something to do with the voice being the first instrument but I suspect it is the intimate way both voices intertwine in so powerful an audial courtship that really tugs at the heart.
Of course there have been a number of close knit harmonies sung by duos and not always by members of the opposite sex: The Everly Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel to name but two. More recently, and this time of the opposite sex, Robert plant and Alison Krauss. When these guys sing their voices become heaven borne so tightly connected are their vocals.

The Civil Wars met almost by chance when both Joy Williams and John Paul White attended a song writing session held in Nashville Tennessee. Neither had intended to form a band but so great was their interaction that the potential became glaringly obvious. This was 2008. It was one of those years.

Their meteoric rise has been justly deserved but what is more remarkable is how they achieved notoriety in the UK. After appearing in October 2011 on Jools Holland’s “Later” with a performance that grabbed the attention of the British public. Their album, “Barton Hollow” which had not been officially released in England went straight into number twenty two on the UK’s download chart. One of those years repeated.

I heard them live on Whispering Bob Harris’s radio show about a month ago and as I listened found the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Each phrase that one sang was matched perfectly by the other, it was as though they were mirror images of each other so that when one did something the other followed instantly. The sound they created was mesmeric and haunting, its appeal timeless, its passion bordering on obsessive. Acts like these deserve every accolade they get for they are truly incredible.


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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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