Shortly after 6:00 pm this evening an unexpected message posted to the Facebook wall of the folk-pop duo The Civil Wars.
“We sincerely apologize for the canceling of all of our tour dates. It is something we deeply regret. However, due to internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition we are unable to continue as a touring entity at this time. We thank each and every one of you for your amazing love & support.”
The announcement seemed to mark the death of the Grammy-winning duo that had garnered sudden success with its debut album, Barton Hollow. But the Facebook message ended with a note of expectation.
“Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013.”
The female half of the duo, Joy Williams, was a popular Christian pop singer before buying out her contract with Reunion Records and starting her own label, Sensibility Music, with husband and Civil Wars’ manager Nate Yetton. She met John Paul White when the two were invited to participate in a song-writing camp at producer Charlie Peacock’s Art House in Nashville. The chemistry was immediate.
Their songs have contributed to soundtracks for Grey’s Anatomy and Drop Dead Diva. They have performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and toured with Adele, who posted on her blog that The Civil Wars were, “the BEST live band i have EVER seen, they are magical and stunning, they make my heart hurt but make it a bit stronger at the same time too!”
Earlier this year, White admitted to The Independent (UK) that life on the road did not run as smoothly as their musical collaborations, especially since Williams and Yetton travel together while White’s wife and children remain back home in Alabama.
“When I see those two together on tour sometimes I have to admit I want to punch them both in the face,” White confessed.
In the four hours since the announcement first hit The Civil Wars’ newsfeed, more than 2,400 Facebook friends have posted comments of shock, disappointment, and hope for a quick resolution to the duo’s discord and differences.
A notable postscript ended the unexpected message:
“We understand that there are many of you stuck with service charges and travel reservations due to our abrupt cancelations. Please email us at [email protected] if there are costs incurred that you would like to be reimbursed for, include a scan or attachment to your receipt(s) of the costs, and we will do our best to reimburse you for non-refundable charges.”
Hopefully, this will not be the final word on the career of a band that has added richly to the musical landscape of our time.