Matt and I had just moved to Nashville when we were invited to Billy Reid for one of their regular Whiskey Wednesday gatherings. We knew nothing about The Civil Wars prior to then.
It ended up being one of those nights that you never forget. We couldn’t get these two beautiful people, their personalities, and their perfect meld of harmony off our minds.
A few months later, we asked the Billy Reid crew if they would mind if we asked John Paul and Joy to play in our backyard. Of course, they were all for it. So was the band.
The Civil Wars’ show at Imogene + Willie was one of our early Supper + Songs, so we had no expectations when it came to how big the crowd might be. We made a ton of hot cider and hoped for a decent number of people to show.
Before we knew it, the cider was gone, and there were well over 300 people squeezed into the backyard. Despite the crowd, you could hear a pin drop for over an hour as Joy and John Paul performed.
It was one of the most special nights of our lives.
It’s only the first week of 2012 and The Civil Wars already have a very busy schedule. Among their many upcoming obligations is a sold-out show at the Ryman next week and a trip to the Grammys in early February, where they’re nominated for two awards: Best Folk Album for Barton Hollow and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the song of the same name.
The last year was no different. Joy and John Paul toured almost non-stop all the way through 2011, so we were understandably thrilled when they agreed to take the time to be the subjects of an Our Voice.
For their OV contribution, the duo called on their talented tour photographer Allister Ann, who provided us with an array of behind-the-scenes photos spanning three engagements in the Midwest last November. The shots provide a beautiful glimpse into the life that Joy and John Paul live on tour, off-stage.
Why don’t we just let them tell you:
The year of 2011 was nothing short of surreal for us. Different cities, different venues every night, and stories from the road that will last us both a lifetime. Still, not every moment can be remembered with perfect clarity, which is why we brought out the lovely Allister Ann. She helped us capture the adventures along the way. Here are a few stolen moments from our bohemian life. – Joy and JP
You never forget your first:
More of her work can be found at www.allisterannphoto.com.