John Paul White
ABOUT JOHN PAUL WHITE
Formerly of The Civil Wars
With The Hurting Kind, 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 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 a music career in Nashville for two decades, first as a songwriter for a major publisher, then 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 fanbase 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.”
What was on your mind leading up to the sessions for The Hurting Kind?
I wanted The Hurting Kind to be a much more complex record than I’ve made before. I wanted it to be a more thought-about, arranged record. I had been burying my head in ‘countrypolitan’ stuff like Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline and early Roy Orbison, and a lot of Chet Atkins and Bill Porter records. I think I was doing that because I was looking for that style of music in today’s world, and for any artist doing that type of thing. Then I decided to make the kind of record that I wanted to sit down and listen to – one that I’ve been looking for and can’t find.