John Paul White
John Paul White had already spent many years flying under the radar in Nashville as a solo artist and industry songwriter when he and Joy Williams formed Americana duo the Civil Wars and struck gold with their 2012 debut, Barton Hollow. After four Grammy Awards and the 2014 demise of Civil Wars’ rocky partnership, White was on his own again, but a good deal more established, setting the table for his 2016 solo effort Beulah on his Single Lock label, and spent the next few years in the producer’s role with artists ranging from Lindi Ortega and Donnie Fritts to Penny & Sparrow and Dylan LeBlanc. White dropped The Hurting Kind in 2019, his second solo album.
A native of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, John Paul White spent a number of years working behind the scenes as a professional songwriter in Nashville, making his solo debut, The Long Goodbye, in 2008. Recorded at his hometown’s legendary FAME Studios and released independently, the album introduced White’s warm lonesome sound, which pulled from the country, rock, folk, and Southern traditions of his home state. That same year, he met California singer/songwriter Joy Williams at a Nashville songwriting workshop where the two solo artists were randomly paired together. Their rich harmonic blend and complementary styles immediately gelled, leading them to form the Civil Wars shortly afterward. Their critically and commercially successful partnership would ultimately earn them four Grammy Awards and a devoted international fan base. In spite of their musical chemistry, White and Williams’ relationship offstage became increasingly rocky during their five years together, and they disbanded in 2014. Over the next two years, White released a handful of solo tracks, contributing a song to the 2015 season of HBO’s True Detective series and duetting with Emmylou Harris on the song “Kyrie.” Along with Alabama Shakes member Ben Tanner, he launched his own label, Single Lock Records, and became active producing records for others. His second solo effort, Beulah, was issued in August 2016. Following a guest spot singing with Rodney Crowell and Rosanne Cash on Crowell’s 2017 album, Close Ties, White returned to the studio to work on his own material, emerging in October 2018 with the melancholic waltz “My Dreams Have All Come True.” White’s next solo effort, The Hurting Kind, was co-produced with Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner. Released in April of 2019, it featured guest spots by Lee Ann Womack, Erin Rae, and the Secret Sisters. Alongside his own tunes, he co-wrote a pair with Nashville legends “Whisperin'” Bill Anderson and Bobby Braddock.