The Civil Wars: Tiny Desk Concert Watch Joy Williams and John Paul White's swooning chemistry and stirring harmonies at the NPR Music offices.

Tiny Desk

The Civil Wars

The Civil Wars: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/137392548/137430150" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

I was shocked to learn that The Civil Wars' Joy Williams and John Paul White were married, but not to each other: There's blissful, swooning chemistry as they stare into each other's eyes and sing magnificently together. For a moment, I almost felt duped, and then I remembered what I'd heard and all was set right again.

Williams and White met as reluctant attendees of a songwriting session at a Nashville studio in 2008. The next year, they recorded "Poison & Wine," which found its way onto the TV show Grey's Anatomy. Since then, it's been one adventure after another for The Civil Wars. About 14 months after the release of their digital EP, they released their first studio album, Barton Hollow — and that's where those harmonies truly shine.

If you thought the songs worked well before, you're about to see and hear two fabulously winning performers sing their hearts out at the NPR Music offices.

Set List

  • "Barton Hollow"
  • "Twenty Years"
  • "Poison & Wine"

Credits

Michael Katzif (cameras); audio by Kevin Wait; photo by Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Snoh Aalegra plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Snoh Aalegra

The Iranian-Swedish singer draws her musical cues from Brandy and Sade while racking up a list of collaborators such as Vince Staples, James Fauntleroy and, most recently, Pharrell Williams.

Laura Stevenson performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 12, 2019. (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Laura Stevenson

Backed by a small string section, Stevenson performed three songs that sounded so gorgeous, an actual marriage proposal broke out shortly after her set ended.

Mount Eerie plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Mount Eerie With Julie Doiron

Phil Elverum shares his open wounds — of death, love and the loss of love — in close harmonies, accompanied only by electric and nylon-string guitars.

Baby Rose plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Kisha Ravi/NPR). Kisha Ravi/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Kisha Ravi/NPR

Baby Rose

At 25, she mixes the bluesy melisma of Nina Simone and the deep register of Sarah Vaughan — two of her influences — with songwriting as devastating as her delivery.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra performs during tiny desk on December, 4, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

Here's a first: Steelpans at the Tiny Desk. It's true. Nearly a thousand performances into the series and the instrument has never been featured, until now.

Another Sky performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 5, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Another Sky

The strength of this London band is matching message with music. There's intensity and clear intention in their use of rock as an art.

SiR plays a Tiny Desk Concert bob boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption bob boilen/NPR

SiR

The R&B singer from Inglewood, CA made his performance a family affair, dedicating it to his late godson, with his mother and older brother on backup vocals.

Rising Appalachia performs during tiny desk on November, 19, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Rising Appalachia

The Atlanta-based band came to NPR in a van packed with a bodhrán (Irish drum), an ngoni (West African harp) a huge gourd, a cello, a baritone guitar and more.

Jimmy Eat World performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 6, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World showed up to the NPR Music office all smiles and no guitars. They borrowed a couple acoustics, a gong and a tambourine for a heartfelt set that included "The Middle."

Koffee plays a Tiny Desk Concert Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Koffee

The fast-rising teenager from Jamaica just won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album, making her the first woman and youngest artist to ever win in the category.

Back To Top