Tag Archives: Civil Wars


The Staves Build Bridges at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday

March 13th, 2017

The Staves – Music Hall of Williamsburg – March 10, 2017


As youngsters in England, Emily, Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor learned guitar from their father and sang heavy folk melodies at the local pub, which has bloomed into something bigger. Their sweet sisterly harmonies have earned the Staves opening slots for the Civil Wars, Bon Iver and Florence and the Machine. The siblings formed such a strong friendship with Justin Vernon that the Bon Iver frontman produced their last album, If I Was. Playing at Music Hall of Williamsburg Friday night, the first of two sold-out weekend shows in Brooklyn, the sisters were a lovely respite after the morning’s snowfall. Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” introduced the ladies—and drummer Dave Power—to the stage. The show began with Camilla on ukulele for “Blood I Bled,” while Jessica, on guitar, and Emily, behind keys, offered backing vocals.

Opener Mikaela Davis added harp on the breakup song “No Me, No You, No More” as Jessica’s elfin vocals rang across the room. Midway through the set, when Emily and Camilla needed to swap stage positions, Jessica stalled with some light conversation about Gilmore Girls, which the band had been watching on the bus. This sent the crowd into a tizzy with shouts of “Team Jess,” but it was the sisters’ critical takes on the character Rory as “a nause” (an English term of annoyance) that elicited cheers. Vernon’s influences were obvious once everyone was in the right place and Camilla created an echo chamber with a series of vocal loops on “Train Tracks,” similar to those on Bon Iver songs. The skip-hop cadence of “Black & White” perked up fans and grew for the anthemic “Tired as Fuck” as crowd members clapped along to Camilla’s languid delivery. An encore was inevitable and Davis returned again for a dreaming acoustic cover of Sufjan Steven’s “Chicago.” Jessica prefaced the final song, “Mexico,” with “Don’t build walls, let’s build bridges.” —Sharlene Chiu


Start Wednesday Night Early with Daniella Mason at Mercury Lounge

November 16th, 2016

Singer-songwriter Daniella Mason was born in Dallas but grew up all around the world—from time in Central and South America to stints in Africa and Europe—before ultimately settling in Nashville. Interested in musical theater, she began writing songs in her teens and slowly found her voice. She’s toured with the likes of the Civil Wars and Joe Jonas, and the Guardian says, “Her general vibe seems to be that of the serious musician but with a distinctly pop edge. Sort of like an American Ellie Goulding.” This past summer, Mason (above, covering “Blue Moon”) made her major-label debut when Warner Bros. Records released the five-song EP Technicolour (stream it below). See her perform live tonight at the early show at Mercury Lounge.


John Paul White Plays the Early Show at Mercury Lounge on Monday

October 7th, 2016

Muscle Shoals, Ala., singer-songwriter John Paul White is best known as the guitarist half of the Grammy-winning Americana, country and folk duo the Civil Wars. But when the band imploded in 2012 and then officially broke up two years later at the height of their fame, White (above, doing “What So” live in studio for WFUV FM) took it in stride, running Single Lock Records with Alabama Shakes touring keyboardist Ben Tanner and then returning to his own solo career. A second full-length album, Beulah (stream it below), came out this past August to considerable acclaim: NPR Music called it “a wise, entrancing and meticulous bit of Southern folk” and the Wall Street Journal added that it’s as “if Faulkner had cut a rock album.” White kicks off a brand-new tour today, and he plays the early show at Mercury Lounge on Monday night.