Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Joy Williams and John Paul White met during a songwriting session in Nashville, TN in 2008. Their vocal harmonies are great as is the male-female dynamic. White plays the guitar and Williams the piano (the guitar is a constant, the piano brought out more selectively).
"Poison and Wine" is the album's standout track. It is about the love-hate duality in a relationship, with its oft-repeated line, "I don't love you but I always will." "I've Got This Friend" is another highlight, a song that is playful and touching at the same time. "The Violet Hour" is a hauntingly beautiful instrumental piece with guitar, piano, and strings. By far the most upbeat song, title track and single "Barton Hollow," is strategically placed in the middle of the album's tracklisting.
A week ago, the duo announced the cancellation of their upcoming tour dates, citing "internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition." Williams is a new mom and perhaps that has something to do with the tour being halted. But she and White don't appear to be breaking up: "Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013."
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars