The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams and John Paul White Announce Breakup

The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams and John Paul White Announce BreakupPhoto Courtesy of

Folk duo The Civil Wars have officially announced this morning that they are breaking up. The announcement is viewable on the band’s website, and states “The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams and John Paul White Officially Part Ways.” Prior to this announcement, the Civil Wars had been on hiatus since late 2012, when they cancelled a world tour due to irreconcilable differences. Williams and White had met on a songwriting project and instantly felt their chemistry as musicians lock. Their first album, “Barton Hollow” was released independently, won four Grammy Awards and went gold. Their second album “The Civil Wars” was intended for tour, however, the scheduled European tour ended abruptly and unexpectedly, and Williams admitted that the cancellation was caused by “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.”

The Civil Wars thoughtfully offered their fans a farewell gift, of free streaming and a download of “You Are My Sunshine.” This is the first time the track has been available digitally in the U.S. Originally recorded in 2010, the song was on the B-side of the 7” limited edition of “Barton Hollow” vinyl released in 2011. Each former member of the band made a statement in a press release announcing the split. According to, Joy Williams wrote,

“I am saddened and disappointed by the ending of this duo, to say the very least. JP is a tremendous musician, and I will always be grateful for the music we were able to create together. I sincerely hope that ‘You Are My Sunshine’ will be accepted as a token of my gratitude for every single person that has supported our duo throughout the years. I’m so thankful and my heart is full. Looking ahead, I’m excited to share the music that I am writing and recording in the midst of this difficult transition. I’ve loved being back in the studio, and have missed performing live. I look forward to seeing you soon.” John Paul added, “I would like to express sincere thanks to all who were a part of the arc of The Civil Wars—from the beginning, to the end, and all points in between. My deep appreciation goes out to all who supported, disseminated, and enjoyed the music. Whatever shape or form the next chapter takes, thanks for being a large part of this one.”

FDRMX is saddened to hear this news, but is grateful for the music The Civil Wars managed to create in the years they were together. Check back in with the Encyclopedia of Music next week for a track-by-track full album review of “Barton Hollow.”