Music » Critics' Picks

The Civil Wars

8 p.m. Saturday, April 23. The Old Rock House, 1200 South Seventh Street.

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With a movie star's good looks and a knack for alternating hushed and forceful harmonies, it's no surprise that Joy Williams and John Paul White of the Civil Wars have been playing to sold-out rooms on their cross-country tours (including this weekend's show). The pair occupies the space between polished country and hand-hewn folk. Williams and White can both sing as hard as any Nashville up-and-comer, but the simple arrangements keep the songs rooted in modesty and simplicity. The slow-burning "Poison & Wine" proves that the duo can imbue a piano ballad with soap opera-worthy theatrics. Secret admirers of Lady Antebellum will find much to like in the Civil Wars, as will fans of the Swell Season's fraught odes to rocky romance.

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