Free at Noon Flashback: The War and Treaty warm up the World Cafe Live crowd

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The War and Treaty | photo by Taylor Johnson for WXPN

XPN’s August Artist to Watch, The War and Treaty, returned to World Cafe Live this afternoon for a special Free at Noon performance in between two local shows opening for the Indigo Girls. The Michigan-based duo of Michael Trotter and Tanya Blount Trotter have become a rising act in the soul/Americana world this year, and recently released their debut album, Healing Tide.

The singers started off today’s set with the album’s opening track, “Love Like There’s No Tomorrow,” and although they perform it a cappella, it’s anything but sparse. Both members of The War and Treaty have powerhouse voices that they use to their fullest potential in the band’s evocative songs, which genre-wise run the gamut from gospel to R&B to blues to folk. A third musician joined The War and Treaty onstage for the rest of their set, playing guitar and upright bass, but most of the focus stayed on the husband-and-wife Trotter duo, who share vocal duties while Michael plays keys and Tanya adds occasional tambourine.

After warming the crowd up with a few more songs, including compelling renditions of the rousing “Healing Tide” and the heartfelt “Are You Ready to Love Me?”, The War and Treaty paused for a moment to reflect on the state of the world, which Michael Trotter described simply as “a really weird situation.” Without venturing too far into political territory, the pair shared their overarching message of love and acceptance, which comes through in much of their music, too — according to the Trotters, we are all “one and the same in this human experience together.”

Before the band’s last song, Michael let the audience in on a secret: the setlist they’d put together for today’s performance was actually just the first eight songs on the new album, in order. Healing Tide is out now via Strong World Entertainment, and if you missed The War and Treaty’s local performances, you can purchase it via the band’s website or stream it wherever you get your music. The War and Treaty recently appeared on an episode of World Cafe Nashville with NPR’s Ann Powers.

The War and Treaty are currently on tour supporting the Indigo Girls; they play a sold out show at the Keswick Theatre tonight and have another performance tomorrow at the Appell Center in York. Find more information on the XPN Concert Calendar.

Setlist
Love Like There’s No Tomorrow
Healing Tide
Are You Ready to Love Me?
Hearts
Jeep Cherokee Laredo
One and the Same
If It’s in Your Heart
Here is Where the Loving is at

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