While not unexpected, the Civil Wars — the duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White — have announced they are permanently parting ways.
Williams and White split up unexpectedly in November 2012 in the middle of a European tour. At the time, they cited “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition” as the reasons for what became an indefinite hiatus.
In early 2012, the Civil Wars won Grammys for best country duo/group performance for “Barton Hollow” as well as folk album of the year for the album of the same name.
Even after their split, the duo’s recording of “From This Valley” won a Grammy in January for best country duo/group performance. In doing so, they edged out “Don’t Rush” (Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill), “Your Side of the Bed” (Little Big Town), “Highway Don’t Care” (Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban) and “You Can’t Make Old Friends” (Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton).
As part of Tuesday’s (Aug. 5) announcement, the duo also confirmed plans to release their version of “You Are My Sunshine.” Recorded in 2010, the track was originally released in 2011 as a B-side of a 7-inch vinyl single. It has not been available for digital download in the U.S.
Both Williams and White are expected to pursue other projects.
“I am saddened and disappointed by the ending of this duo, to say the very least,” Williams said in a written statement. “JP is a tremendous musician, and I will always be grateful for the music we were able to create together. … 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 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,” White said. “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.”