By Grady Smith
Updated August 02, 2011 at 08:24 PM EDT
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If you haven’t been listening to The Civil Wars, the male-female duo with a penchant for plaintive love songs and folksy Americana melodies, consider this a friendly Music Mix advisory that you need to start.

Thankfully, the band is making this easy for you, as they’ll be heading out on a just-announced U.S. tour in the fall, capping off what has been a terrific year for the band.

The pair released their first LP, Barton Hollow, in February, and on the strength of singles “Poison and Wine” and “Barton Hollow,” the disc has quietly sold over 150,000 over the past six months. In March, they were named one of VH1’s “You Oughta Know” artists, and in May, they were chosen to open for Adele during select dates on her tour. (In June, they got a shout-out in our Singles Swap, too.)

They were also recently nominated by the Americana Music Awards as Duo/Group of the Year alongside The Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, and Robert Plant and the Band of Joy (Wow, that category pretty much encapsulates my taste in music).

Last week, I had the chance to see the duo play an acoustic set in New York’s Housing Works Bookstore Café, and I was floored. Joy Williams and John Paul White aren’t a couple, but they sing with all the intimacy and nuance of spouses who have known each other deeply for decades.

Their complex harmonies are rock-solid, and their voices move like the feet of classically trained ballroom dancers—when one changes notes, it’s as if, by some psychic connection, the other knows to modulate at the exact same moment.

White’s warm tenor and Williams’ pristine, clear-as-a-bell tones come together beautifully, and their faces speak volumes as well, passion and desperation flowing out of their ever-locked gaze. Still, the show never feels heavy; the singers maintain a playful rapport (and goofy competitiveness) throughout and sprinkle their set with unexpected covers (like a dramatically altered take on the Jackson 5 classic “I Want You Back”).

Basically, you should find some time to see them this fall, and if you won’t take my word for it, take Adele’s: She wrote on her blog: “they are by far the BEST live band i have EVER seen. they are magical and stunning, they make my heart hurt but make it a bit stronger at the same time too! perfect timing! please check them out, their record is beautiful. and if your coming to any of the shows on this trip make sure you get there early to see them. Ive never been so blown away.”

Check out the tour dates below (More dates are expected to be added later):

August 12 Boulder, CO eTown

August 21 Lyons, CO Rocky Mountain Folks Festival

September 1 Dublin, Ireland The Sugar Club

September 4-25 various locations, UK On tour in support of Adele

September 15 Paris, France Café de la danse (Eldorado Festival)

September 26 Manchester, UK Night and Day

September 27 London, UK Union Chapel

October 7 Birmingham, AL Alabama Theatre

October 8 Knoxville, TN Bijou Theatre*

October 9 Atlanta, GA Presser Hall at Agnes Scott College*

October 10 Atlanta, GA Presser Hall at Agnes Scott College

October 12-13 Nashville, TN Americana Music Festival & Awards

October 19 Charlotte, NC McGlohan Theatre

October 20 Durham, NC Page Auditorium

October 21 Norfolk, VA NorVa Theatre

October 22 Charlottesville, VA Jefferson Theater

October 23 Washington, DC Lincoln Theatre

October 25 Philadelphia, PA The Trocadero

October 27 New York, NY Town Hall

October 28 Boston, MA Berklee Performance Center

October 29 Montreal, QC Gesu

November 1 Toronto, ON The Phoenix

November 2 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan Theater

November 3 Columbus, OH Lincoln Theatre

November 4 Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room

November 6 Chicago, IL The Vic

November 8 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall

November 9 Minneapolis, MN State Theatre

November 13 Vancouver, BC The Vogue

Npvember 14 Seattle, WA The Neptune

November 15 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom

November 17 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore

November 18 Santa Barbara, CA Lobero Theatre

November 19 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern

November 20 Tempe, AZ The Marquee

*denotes a sold-out show

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