XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Healing Tide” by The War and Treaty

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The War and Treaty | Photo courtesy of the artist and label.

After an exhilarating live performance at the Americana Music Association’s music festival last September in Nashville at Cannery Ballroom, husband and wife musical duo The War and Treaty – Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount-Trotter – became one of the most talked about sets at the festival by a whole lot of people. Had I not been there to experience it for myself, I would have doubted the hyperbole.

They more than delivered the musical goods. Equal parts gospel rave up and R&B review – with Michael behind the keyboards and the duo singing their hearts out to each other and the audience, it was a breathtaking live performance that left the audience in awe.

Since then, things have moved pretty quickly for the duo. And deservedly so. August 10th brings the release their Buddy Miller produced debut album. With contributions from Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush, Brady Blade, and others, The War and Treaty recorded their album over a five day period in Nashville.

Michael and Tanya have an incredibly moving story. Before he met Tanya in 2010, he joined the army in 2003. Michael was stationed in Iraq, and in one of Saddam Hussein’s rubbled palaces, he came across a piano, started to sing and play, and was taken notice by his captain. After his Captain died in Iraq he penned a moving memorial song for him and performed it at the service, and soon began performing at talent shows and for other fallen soldiers in the Army. For Michael, music became a healing force and a way to cope with the inevitable trauma that war has on human lives. After he left the service, he met Tanya at a music festival they were both playing. Tanya walked up to Michael after their shows, exchanged phone numbers, and their relationship blossomed in and out of the recording studio.

Below, listen to the title song of Healing Tide. A spiritual distant cousin to Delaney & Bonnie’s “Soul Shake,”, Michael and Tanya wrap their powerful voices around a driving beat that shimmies and shakes with relentless rock and roll powered soul music.

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