The national music publication praised the Albion husband-and-wife duo for a ‘tense and hypnotic’ performance during the showcase festival and conference.
Michigan’s cadre of emerging artists garnering national attention just keeps growing.
The War & Treaty, a husband-and-wife duo from Albion who have caused a stir regionally over the past few months, were named this week by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “20 Best Things We Saw” at AmericanaFest 2017 held in Nashville last week.
Indeed, Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount-Trotter appeared near the top of the Rolling Stone list in photo and words, with the magazine hailing The War & Treaty for “mixing primitive blues, R&B and gospel-style shouting” while delivering songs like “Hi Ho” and “Down to the River” that were “tense and hypnotic, shrouded in darkness but punching their way to the light.”
The magazine noted that The War & Treaty was “a late addition to the showcase lineup after Americana mainstay Buddy Miller had to bow out due to illness” and “did not disappoint,” performing with backing from Miller’s all-star band. (Miller did manage to sit in for one song.)
“I feel super elated and honored, yet I am fully aware of the responsibility that comes with it, too,” Michael Trotter told Local Spins in response to the national recognition.
He added that the band is committed to shifting “that attention from us being a breakout band to us being a fire-starter in burning down the walls that divide our country. I want more for this great country. It pains me to see the inner turmoil.”
BUSY FALL OF TOURING AHEAD
The duo’s uplifting music and mission – not to mention a back story that involves Trotter learning to play on Saddam Hussein’s piano in war-torn Iraq – has elevated the band’s profile this year, along with release of a debut EP, “Down to the River.”
The Trotters and their band were featured this summer at Local Spins, appearing on the Local Spins on WYCE radio show, with the new EP topping WYCE’s Hop Top 5 for July, receiving more radio airplay than any other regional artist for the month. Read more about the band in this Local Spins feature.
The band has a busy fall ahead, with a concert Thursday at The Ark in Ann Arbor and a private show on Sept. 28 in Washington D.C. for the House of Ruth Homeless Shelter for Battered Women and Children where Michael Trotter lived when he was 13. They also play Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids on Oct. 12, before mounting a Southern tour.
Other artists cited by Rolling Stone in its AmericanaFest feature included Amanda Shires, The Texas Gentlemen, Lee Ann Womack and Lilly Hiatt. See the full list online here.
The Americana Music Association hosted the 18th annual AmericanaFest (aka, The Americana Music Festival and Conference), which attracted thousands of artists, fans and industry professionals for six days of seminars, panels and artist showcases.
VIDEO: The War & Treaty, “Down to the River”
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