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John Paul White’s voice was meant to be heard on its own.
A lot of it sounds spectacularly gloomy and bitter. That’s often because it is spectacularly gloomy and bitter. There are songs on here about collapsed relationships that make his old fan Adele’s last album sound like a masterclass in the virtues of moving on and letting bygones be bygones.
The past is over, and the future looks incredibly bright for us because John Paul White is writing music in it.
With The Hurting Kind, released in April 2019, John Paul White has crafted a stunning album that draws on the lush, orchestrated music made in Nashville in the early 1960s. Yet these songs retain a modern feel, whether he’s writing about overwhelming love, unraveling relationships, or the fading memory of a loved one.
White grew up in tiny Loretto, Tennessee, and now lives in Florence, Alabama, not far from Muscle Shoals. He has cultivated his career in Nashville for two decades, first as a songwriter for a major publisher, then as half of the Civil Wars—a groundbreaking duo that won four Grammy Awards before disbanding in 2012.
Because the Civil Wars were so hard to categorize, White has earned a fan base among indie rock listeners, folk audiences, Americana outlets, and AAA radio. So, what will happen if people hear The Hurting Kind and call it country? “Well, that doesn’t scare me in the least,” he says. “As a matter of fact, it kind of thrills me.”
Producer’s Circle member Tom G.