The Civil Wars is an indie folk duo composed of multi-Dove nominated CCM vocalist Joy Williams and guitarist/songwriter John Paul White. The pair originally met at a songwriting camp in Nashville when they were put in a room together and asked to write some songs. The duo's first album was a 2009 free download Live at Eddie's Attic. The Poison & Wine EP followed later that year and was selected as an iTunes "Best of 2010" singer/songwriter album and the title track was played on Grey's Anatomy. The pair then partnered up with Grammy winner and CCM veteran producer Charlie Peacock to record their debut full-length studio album, Barton Hollow, which debuted at #1 on iTunes' album sales chart and at #12 on the Billboard 200.
The "Barton Hollow" of the title track refers to the community of Barton, Alabama, a few miles down the road from White's hometown of Muscle Shoals. White explained to UK newspaper, The Sun: "When we were writing the song, we wanted a picturesque name for the place and it was the first thing that popped in my head and Joy liked the way it sounded and it became the name of the song. It made me really proud to pay a homage to where I'm from too."
So how come Civil Wars? Williams told Christianity Today that she came up with the band name while in the car with her husband. "There's a subconscious tension in the music when John Paul and I get together," she explained. "There are small wars we have each day as individuals and in a relationship, in a job, and with your faith. I thought, 'How can we capitalize on that?' I told Nate, 'What if we made up a war?' All of a sudden, The Civil Wars popped into my head. John Paul liked the name."
The music video, directed by Becky Fluke, was shot in a rural location called Mt. Zion, near Minor Hill, Tennessee. White knew the locale as he attended family reunions there every summer and it is where some of his family members are buried. He enlisted friends and family members to play the churchgoers in the clip.