Joy Williams and John Paul White—the duo who make up Civil Wars—won two Grammys last spring for Barton Hollow: Best Folk Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for its title track. Not bad for a debut, all 18 songs of which are originals.
"Barton Hollow shines its brightest whenever the tempos slow, the lights dim, and the voices rise up. But the title track, with its outlaw lyrics and swanky Southern groove, is a nice change from the norm, and 'I’ve Got This Friend' finds a balance between both camps. Good stuff."—All Music Guide
"Love-torn, life-worn songs…. '20 Years' is an equally stirring and haunting tribute to the past that cuts heart strings with each pluck of the guitar, while the gentle, stirring chug of 'C'est La Mort' drifts like ashes scattered onto a river. It's not all tears and tragedy, though the country jangle of the title-track, the neo-classical instrumental of 'The Violet Hour' and the sparse waltz of 'Falling' all add texture to the duo's takes on that ageless, ever-inspiring theme of love…. A timeless, anachronistic record, Barton Hollow could be from 30 years ago, or it could be from 30 years hence. What's certain, though, is that you truly feel it in the here and now."—BBC Music