by (@unclegrambo)

Relive The Magical Civil Wars Unplugged Set Over And Over Again

The Civil Wars VH1 Unplugged

As we go to press tonight, the future of The Civil Wars is still very much up in the air. Back in November, the Grammy winning duo and You Oughta Know alumni abruptly canceled their planned slate of tour dates citing “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.” However, December brought a shimmer of good news when the band’s manager posted a photo to Instagram of the band in the studio working on new material. Our fingers and toes are beginning to cramp after having them crossed for the last few months in hopes that we haven’t heard the last of John Paul White and Joy Williams, and today brought The Civil Wars faithful some more good news.

Today marks the release of The Civil Wars: Unplugged On VH1, a 7-song album that was recorded last spring when the band performed a knockout VH1 Unplugged set (while, we might add, Joy was pregnant). For the low low price of just five American dollars and 99 American cents, you can get your hands on a copy of the video AND audio of this truly memorable entry in the famed Unplugged canon. In addition to originals like “Barton Hollow” and “I’ve Got This Friend,” the set includes remarkable covers of Portishead‘s “Sour Times” and Michael Jackson‘s “Billie Jean” (the latter of which did not air in the original special!).
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by (@unclegrambo)

VH1 UNPLUGGED SNEAK PEEK: The Civil Wars Cover Portishead’s “Sour Times”

As The Civil Wars joked during the taping of their VH1 Unplugged set a few weeks back, they’re a duo that already performs “unplugged” most of the time, generally using an acoustic guitar or piano to deliver their songs. Knowing that, you wouldn’t necessarily think that the duo would gravitate towards performing a cover of a 1993 trip-hop classic, but once you hear their take on “Sour Times” (as originally performed by Portishead), you immediately understand how this fits into the band’s repetoire of seemingly offbeat covers.

“We’re lovers of all kinds of different music,” Joy Williams told us when we sat down with her before the show taped a few weeks back. “If we’re able to pick something out of the lexicon where we both go, ‘You listened to that, too?’, it’s really fun for us to say ‘Ok, what can we do with it as a duo?’ The lyrics themselves, to Portishead, I sat down to read them and they’re so mysterious. I still don’t even quite know what we’re actually singing about, but I’m kind of into it. It’s such a moody song!” (VIDEO BELOW.)

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