Review: The Civil Wars

I’ve seen a lot of live performances in my lifetime: ballets, symphonies, musicals, rock concerts in everything from football stadiums to intimate nightclubs. I can now honestly say I’ve seen pure magic onstage. If you don’t already know who The Civil Wars are, let this be your introduction to one of the the BEST musical duet I’ve ever seen in my life. I learned of them when walking through my living room one day as their video played on TV. My daughters were listening to it and told me I had to hear them. Well, they say that a lot and I don’t always enjoy the music they feel I have to hear, but in this case I immediately agreed. A quick online search brought forth a few Youtube videos and a show date here in Houston. I simply couldn’t resist and bought two tickets. That is the best fort bucks I’ve ever spent. It was obvious from the minute they hit stage that they enjoy performing together. As I said, pure magic. They had the audience laughing and singing along with them. Their cover of the Smashing Pumpkins’ Disarm was beautifully done, even as different as it sounded. I could’ve sat and listened to them all night. The standing ovation they received at the end was very well deserved. My only regret was not being able to stay and have my poster autographed.

Normally, this would be the part where I spend a paragraph bitching about my husband bowing out of our date night because he just knew he wouldn’t like the music. In fact, he admitted after the fact that he almost did. However, he didn’t and off we went. The show was at a venue called McGonigel’s Mucky Duck in the heart of Houston. I’d heard of it but never been there and was excited about visiting a new live music venue. It’s been a while and I’ve seriously missed taking the time to sit and enjoy a live show. This was the first time we had dinner while watching the performance and the food was really good too. In fact, if I had to think of something to complain about it would be the forty-five minute drive to get there, but that’s a whole other issue.

So, before The Civil Wars there was a single guy with his guitar. His name is Rayland Baxter and his voice reminded me of Paul Simon. He was really good. I bullied my husband into buying his CD as soon as his set ended, but was disappointed to discover at home that the song I enjoyed most isn’t on it. That’s okay, some cyber-stalking helped me find it on Youtube.

I realized as I was sitting listening to his soul-wrenching melodies that though I don’t usually create a story soundtrack as other authors do, I could easily create one with his music. Once the Civil Wars hit stage what began as a seed in the back of my mind became a full-blown character, background and all, and I can hardly wait to introduce him to the world. Until then, please take my advice and have a listen to The Civil Wars. I promise it will be time well spent.

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