When: Tue., Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m. 2012
The Civil Wars are not Civil War buffs. Especially with the recent sesquicentennial of that bloody North-South conflagration, it’s natural to assume that Joy Williams and John Paul White chose their stage name as a nod to that tumultuous, brother-versus-brother period in American history. Their music, despite its modern-day production sheen, is certainly steeped in traditions whose roots extend deep into the 19th century — modest country laments, fervent gospel harmonies, elegant waltz-time hymns. Instead, the moniker refers to “the battle within ourselves.” Once two struggling Nashville solo artists (married, but not to each other), the duo have found considerable success together. Thanks to a Grey’s Anatomy placement and an endorsement from Taylor Swift, the Civil Wars have become one of the biggest acts in Nashville, their rise in popularity coinciding with that of the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and other artists lumped into the New Americana movement. The Civil Wars’ range comes through in their live shows as well, which are even more bare bones than their studio recordings. The Civil Wars play the Germantown Performing Arts Centre.