John Paul White first came to public attention as one half of the country-folk duo The Civil Wars. Formed in 2008, Civil Wars won four Grammy Awards, spread across the folk and country categories, prior to their 2014 breakup. White’s solo work since then has been called by Bob Boilen “heartfelt and beautiful … tender Southern music without drawl or pretense.” The Guardian calls it “the kind of heart-worn country ballads that could have been a hit at any point in the last 70 years.”
His most recent album is Beulah, a remarkably and assuredly diverse collection spanning plaintive folk balladry, swampy Southern rock, lonesome campfire songs, and dark acoustic pop. Gothic and ambitious, with a rustic, lived-in sound, it’s a meditation on love curdling into its opposite, on recrimination defining relationships, on hope finally filtering through doubt.
White is also a founder of the Alabama-based indie label Single Lock Records, which has released recordings by St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Penny & Sparrow, Belle Adair, Dylan LeBlanc and Donnie Fritts. White’s recent recording collaborations include work with Jason Isbell, Candi Staton, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.
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