Page 3 Profile: The Civil Wars, folk duo


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The Independent Online

Not the most auspicious name for a band.

But an accurate one. Joy Williams and John Paul White, who met in Nashville five years ago, aren’t on speaking terms. They are, however, riding high in the charts thanks to the support of Adele. The British singer begged her 16.5 million Twitter followers to buy the gothic folk duo’s eponymous new album, having previously described the act as “the best live band I have ever seen” and taking them on tour as her support act. Now The Civil Wars are set to top the US Billboard album chart, and they’re currently at number two in the UK midweek sales chart ahead of the final countdown on Sunday.

Who’s standing in their way?

Depressingly, Britain’s Got Talent finalists Richard and Adam are currently 4,000 copies in front with The Impossible Dream.

It’ll be easy to overhaul them, surely?

You would think so, but album sales are so low these days that 4,000 sales is a significant amount. Richard and Adam topped the charts last week having sold just shy of 29,000 copies in seven days.

Maybe Adele will have to step up her Twitter campaign.

The singer tweets sparingly, and she won’t want to be accused of insincerity – she and The Civil Wars share the same record label in the US. Still, it does show the influence celebrities have over the Twittersphere.

But will The Civil Wars be around to enjoy their success?

Even winning a Grammy for  Best Folk Album for their debut effort, Barton Hallow, couldn’t thaw relations between the two. They cancelled all touring plans citing “internal discord and irreconcilable differences”. Williams said that while “there are plenty of bands over the course of history that have not been on speaking terms,” she isn’t “in communication” with White  at present.