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In Birmingham, John Paul White Shares Songs And Stories

John Paul White performs live at the Lyric Theatre in Birmingham, Ala.
John Paul White performs live at the Lyric Theatre in Birmingham, Ala.

If you caught Weekend Edition's live show from Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday, you might have heard John Paul White's guitar between stories. The Alabama singer-songwriter, known for his work as one-half of The Civil Wars, released his solo album Beulah in 2016.

White spoke with NPR's Scott Simon about how he got his 1957 Martin guitar and his father's love for the country yodeler Slim Whitman. He also performed two songs from Beulah -- including "Black Leaf," whose title hints at its dark overtones.

"'Black Leaf' is actually a reference to Black Leaf 40," White says, naming a chemical insecticide. "My dad used it on our poultry farm, on the chickens, and he always warned us, 'Don't ever put this in your mouth or the worst could happen.' "

Listen to "Black Leaf" and "The Once And Future Queen" in the player above, and hear more of the music White played for Saturday's live broadcast below.

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