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12:01 AM Friday, 4/15/11 |   |

The Civil Wars began two years ago as a project for two already successful songwriters, Joy Williams and John Paul White. Now, with sellout shows and dates around the world, it’s time to realize this is more than just a passing moment.

“This project kind of found them and it’s just slowly evolved,” manager Nate Yetton told Pollstar. “I think they’re going to be discovered domestically and internationally as an iconic act for their songwriting, for their performance chemistry and excellence.”

Yetton not only manages the band, he is married to Williams. The musical duo are married but it’s a common misconception they are married to each other. Williams and White have said their music reflects the honesty that can only come from such a platonic relationship.

“She came home one day and basically said, ‘I met this guy,’” Yetton said, laughing. Williams and White met at a writing camp in 2008, among 20 songwriters brought together to create music for a charting country artist. They hit it off musically.

“I can attest to it,” Yetton said. “She never wanted to sing with someone before.”

The duo’s second gig, at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Ga., was recorded and is a free digital download. From that show came the song “Poison & Wine,” which was featured on “Grey’s Anatomy” and gave The Civil Wars an infusion of popularity. So did an unsolicited recommendation from Taylor Swift to her fans that “Poison & Wine” was her new, favorite duet. The band is playing smaller venues, but nearly all the shows are at capacity.

“You can’t capture word-of-mouth and that’s really what’s happened here,” Yetton said. “We hate to leave people out on the street. But if they couldn’t get a ticket the first time around, hopefully when we come back we’ll be in bigger rooms, and they’ll purchase tickets even more quickly.”

Debut album Barton Hollow was No. 1 on iTunes’ overall albums chart.


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