The Civil Wars are a duo whose interchanges, onstage and on the 2010 debut album Barton Hollow, fascinated fans with their magnetic pull and expressiveness. Joy Williams and John Paul White, singer-songwriters whose own separate careers had stalled at different crossroads, came together by accident and quickly became . Produced by Nashville veteran Charlie Peacock, Barton Hollow rocketed up the iTunes and Billboard charts on the strength of Internet fandom and the pair's spellbinding live performances. Barton Hollow went gold and won two Grammy Awards, for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Folk Album.
Continued success seemed inevitable for The Civil Wars, especially after Taylor Swift took them up as collaborators on a song for the Hunger Games soundtrack. (That song, "Safe & Sound," also a Grammy.) Many more accolades followed, but in the midst of a European tour, long-simmering problems erupted between Williams and White, and the band went on indefinite hiatus.