There are countless modern music makers who can rock with force. Indeed, punk, alt rock and metal outfits share that pedal-to-the-metal approach in spades.
Rarer is the contemporary artist who can touch audiences with artful songcraft, stunning harmonies and heartfelt performances.
The Civil Wars - singer-keyboardist Joy Williams and singer-guitarist John Paul White - are that rare young duo able to have somehow found a large audience despite having a musical approach rooted in folk and Americana.
Over the course of 75 wonderful minutes at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday (Nov. 19), the Civil Wars performed 17 songs that offered up nearly flawless artistry from two musicians who only began playing together three years ago. In addition to performing more than a dozen original songs, they reworked (and I mean REWORKED) The Smashing Pumpkins' “Disarm” and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" to add additional power to the night. Impressive.
I would encourage everyone to read writer George Paul's comprehensive review of the show that was posted on the Orange County Register's Soundcheck blog today.