Pop Quiz: John Paul White


Aidin Vaziri | John Paul White is flying solo on his current tour, having walked away from the country folk duo the Civil Wars just as things were getting interesting: a Grammy, a collaboration with Taylor Swift and a tour with Adele. Since parting with his creative partner, Joy Williams, in 2012, the singer-songwriter has devoted his time to family, co-founding Single Lock Records and producing music for other artists. “Beulah,” his first solo album in eight years, was released last summer, but White, 43, calling from his home in Muscle Shoals, Ala., says he never intended to make it.

Q: Whose idea was it to send you driving across the country in a van in the dead of winter?

A: Well, I can’t blame anybody else — a lot of it is my idea. Part of the trip wasn’t bad. It could get hairy when we get up in the mountains.

Q: Haven’t you read every rock biography where everything is going fine until they hit black ice on tour in the middle of winter?

A: Now I’m starting to rethink it.

Q: We should move on. You walked away from the Civil Wars right as the band was on the verge of a breakthrough. What were you thinking?

A: I just knew. I can’t pretend to be the wisest guy out there, but there are times in your life when there’s only one decision. I wish everybody could experience being able to shut down and experience what is in your house and what is in arm’s length for a period of time. That’s not how life works. I’m fortunate I was in a position where I was able to do that and really re-evaluate and reprioritize my life. It was necessary.

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