Review Corner: John Paul White’s Beulah

(Source: Single Lock Records via iTunes)
(Source: Single Lock Records via iTunes)

Once there was the Civil Wars…

It’s been four years since the band stopped touring (November 2012) and stopped altogether. It’s been a while for John Paul White, but he has been working on a new solo album, something he hasn’t done in eight years. Now he’s finally in a place where he can put out new music and the result is the new Beulah. I picked it up on a whim and recognized the voice and the guitar.

It’s hard not to make “What’s So” into an instant favourite. Dark overtones, upbeat tempo, lashing vocals, it wouldn’t be out of place in a western film. Then there’s subtle but insidious “Black Leaf”, feisty “Fight For You” and another folk anthem with “The Martyr”. On a different tone, there’s “The Once and Future Queen” and “I’ve Been Over This” for more Americana folk. The tug at the heartstrings come via “Make You Cry” and “Hope I Die”. You will definitely find some flavour reminiscent of the Wars’ Barton Hollow, but this one’s all John Paul White and the deep South Americana in bloom.

Here’s the video for “What’s So” which I can’t seem to stop listening to at the moment.

Watch on YouTube

You can pick up the album on iTunes. You might not be into folk music or the Americana genre, but then again you might. I’d suggest you try listening a little. It’s good to listen to a little of everything.

Coming up next in the Calendar:

Behind the Blog: 1,500 posts and one. What have we learned so far?

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Taylor Swift attends the Weinstein Company's holiday party at RivaBella on November 21, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
(Photo: John Sciulli/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

I’m getting older too, Taylor Nation.

The Sparkly Dressed was at the Weinstein Company holiday party. Not long ago, I said that I was going to do more editorial blogs. This post comes just after 1,500 posts in four years. Nobody like Taylor to bring the cheer. Maroon is my favorite color. The shadowing on this picture does make it seem like she’s smirking at you, or is it just me? It’s probably just me.

So 1,500 posts and one. What’s new? Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who has never own a Maserati, we’ve gone to ton of shows and met a ton of Taylor Swift fans. We’ve also had the chance to meet the Agency and, in a bizarre one in a lifetime opportunity, the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar herself. So that’s it, we’re done. Let’s pack it in. Nice knowing you.

Doesn’t work out that way though… Still here 🙂

The Princess in Red is still out there, and the RED Tour – recently awarded Billboard’s Touring Award’s Top Package – will be starting its international run this month in New Zealand. To top it off, she’s still getting the big awards. She recently was awarded the Pinnacle Award by the CMAs. She’s up for five awards at the 2013 American Music Awards this Sunday, November 24. She’s also up for Country Artist at the People’s Choice Awards which are open to the entire world and you can vote now.

Mallary Hope performing live at House of Blues Sunset Strip in Hollywood CA on November 20th, 2013. Mallary opened for Corey Smith. (Photo by Justin Higuchi)
(Photo: Justin Higuchi)

My other reasons to keep blogging are close and dear, starting with Mallary Hope. She’s been performing at the House of Blues, opening for Corey Smith. First it was the one in West Hollywood, then San Diego and tonight at Anaheim. Are we getting an album soon? Hopefully! (see what I did there – oh the hilarity). The songstress from Cohutta never forgets and has made sure her latest single, Black Widow (no relation to a certain member of Marvel’s The Avengers) is available worldwide on iTunes.

You can find more pictures of Mallary Hope at Justin Higuchi’s flickr.


The beautiful and talented Elizabeth Huett has always been the best of reasons to keep this blog open. She’s been tackling side projects, including songwriting sessions with up and coming artists Megan and Liz, of YouTube fame. You can listen to new material from Liz at her page. She has seven tracks for you and one for free if you go sign up on her site Liz, I want an interview.

Megan and Liz, who won Macy’s iHeart Radio Rising Star, have a new release called Release You out on iTunes.

We’re still hooked on The Civil Wars, by the way. I love the latest album from them. I don’t know or have an opinion if they’re getting back together. I love their music and that’s all that really needs to be said. Here’s the iTunes link.

And I’m not forgetting Betsy Lane. She has a single out on iTunes called Nashville Nights and there’s more music on her Soundcloud account you should be listening.

(Photo: Vera Anderson/WireImage)
(Photo: Vera Anderson/WireImage)

And finally about the fans… you know I love you guys. I don’t say it enough. It’s easy to say that to people that read my blog because that ones that don’t will never read this. I try really hard not to report rumors. As far as I can research every news items goes, I like to report facts – or my opinion on facts. If you have a different opinion, you can write your own blog. No seriously you can – I encourage you to do that. Writing is a great exercise, if you have any inclination for it.

I’d like to thank the Academy for not giving me anything and keeping me humble. Or the closest thing to humble I can muster. Yours truly has an ego when writing is concerned, but I don’t like expressing it too much on a loud voice. Or a printed word.

So, from the guy who writes all these rants and musings, thank you. Read on. We’ve got a lot of things to cover in the days ahead.

The 2013 AMA voting is now closed except for New Artist. However, the People’s Choice Awards are not only open, but open for the entire world! The Enchantress is up for Country Artist. VOTE NOW. You can also vote on Twitter adding the tags: Taylor Swift #CountryArtist #PeoplesChoice

On other news, the Sparkly Dressed is nominated for the 2013 ARIA Awards for Best International Artist. You need to be in Australia to vote. The ceremony takes places on December 1st. She’s got good chances, since she’s on that side of the world when that happens. She has a concert in Auckland, New Zealand that same night, so she won’t be attending but there’s always a video acceptance.

(Source: Taylor Swift via Instagram)
(Source: Taylor Swift via Instagram)

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • November 24: The 2013 American Music Awards air live. Taylor is nominated for five awards: Artist of the Year, Favorite Female Artist – Pop/Rock, Favorite Album – Pop/Rock for RED, Favorite Female Artist – Country, Favorite Album – Country for RED
  • November 26: Taylor Swift performs at the Centrepoint Winter Whites Gala at Kensington Palace in London, UK.
  • November 29: The RED Tour at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • November 30: The RED Tour at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.


Review Corner: The Civil Wars album debuts at #1 on the Billboard charts!


Congratulations to John Paul White and Joy Williams!

The Civil Wars self-titled album was already predicted to make it to the top of the Billboard charts this week. It has met its goal with 116,000 units sold. The album dropped on Tuesday August 6, under the 1504 Pictures production company and major label partner Columbia Pictures.

Charlie Peacock was in charge of the production. The known Nashville producer was also responsible for Joy and JP’s first studio album, Barton Hollow.

“The One That Got Away” is the opening salvo. In the Wars’ usual word play, the lyrics are actually about rejecting a love and wishing it had remained unattainable. “I Had Me A Girl” breaks JP and Joy’s usual acoustic sound with an electric guitar, but it’s full of raw overtones. Joy herself has described it brings up the image of “a glass of whiskey and a lit cigarette”

Personal favorites for me are “Dust To Dust”, “Eavesdrop” and my current favorite – the majestic “Devil’s Backbone”. That last one just gives me chills. You might recognize “From This Valley” which was sang at the Opry.

You should pick up The Civil Wars. Available on iTunes now.

(Photo: Allister Ann)
(Photo: Allister Ann)

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • August 15: The Red Tour at Valley View Casino Center (formerly San Diego Sports Arena) in San Diego, California. On sale now. More information on Ticketmaster.
  • August 19 and 20: The Red Tour at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. On sale now. More information on Ticketmaster.
  • August 23 and 24: The Red Tour at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. On sale now. More information on Ticketmaster.

(Sources: Billboard)

News Update: Happy Birthday David Cook! The Civil Wars to debut on the charts. Taylor wins two TCAs.


Hello Taylor Nation!

Be sure to wish a happy birthday to the Agency’s David Cook, musical director for the Red Tour, expert pianist, composer and a very down to earth person if you are lucky enough to meet him. I had the good fortune of seeing him at the Montreal Jazz Festival this year, when he was performing with songstress Morgan James.

David performed with the Agency for the first time when Taylor Swift performed on board Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas in Cozumel, Mexico on January 21, 2011. He worked as the musical director for the Speak Now Tour, and he’s back to do the same on the Red Tour.

You can find more about him at or on his own Agency Profile: David Cook.

The Civil Wars self-titled album might just make an impressive debut on the billboard charts. Very impressive. Like at the very top. Industry sources predict that they will debut on the billboard charts at the #1 spot. Read the original article on Billboard. You really, really should pick up The Civil Wars. Available on iTunes now.

On other news, the songstress did manage to win two awards last night at the FOX Networks’ Teen Choice Awards 2013 although she was not attending. She won Choice Female Country Artist and Choice Country Song for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”.

The Princess in Red also has two nominations to the 2013 MTV VMAVideo of the Year and Best Female Video for I Knew You Were Trouble. The 2013 Video Music Awards air August 25 on MTV and, live from the Brooklyn Barclays Center. Voting is necessary for her to be considered for the award. Read the rules here.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • August 12: David Cook‘s Birthday.
  • August 12: CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night To Rock hosted by Little Big Town. Taylor Swift performs. Recorded from the CMA Fest back in June.
  • August 15: The Red Tour at Valley View Casino Center (formerly San Diego Sports Arena) in San Diego, California. On sale now. More information on Ticketmaster.
  • August 19 and 20: The Red Tour at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. On sale now. More information on Ticketmaster.

(Sources: BillboardFOX Networks)

The Civil Wars self-titled album is released!

The new album The Civil Wars has just dropped today, Tuesday August 6, under the 1504 Pictures production company and major label partner Columbia Pictures.

Here’s the track list:

The Civil Wars album cover
  • The One That Got Away
  • I Had Me A Girl
  • Same Old Same Old
  • Dust To Dust
  • Eavesdrop
  • Devil’s Backbone
  • From This Valley
  • Tell Mama
  • Oh Henry
  • Disarm
  • Sacred Heart
  • D’Arline

The album is now available on iTunes.

Once more produced by Nashville music veteran Charlie Peacock, the album is the second for the now estranged duo of John Paul White and Joy Williams and could possibly be their last. That’s been going around in the media lately with a vengeance… seems like the album has acted as a musical dreamcatcher of it all.

Coming soon… (album promo clip)

Watch on YouTube

The One That Got Away

Watch on YouTube

From This Valley

Watch on YouTube

Same Old Same Old

Watch on YouTube

I’m still listening to it, but I’ll have a review soon enough. Immediate favorites right now are Devil’s Backbone and Oh Henry. Go get the album on iTunes! Amazing piece of Americana/folk and due to become an instant classic.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • Aug. 6: The Red Tour at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. On sale now. Ticket information here.
  • Aug. 7: The Red Tour at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On sale now. Ticket information here.
  • Aug. 10: The Red Tour at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. On sale now. More information on Ticketmaster.
  • August 11: Taylor Swift has 7 nominations for the Teen Choice Awards (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.