Two Michigan artists earned acclaim this week, with Albion’s The War and Treaty winning Americana’s ‘Emerging Act of the Year’ in Nashville and Walton making audition cuts for ‘American Idol.’
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Michigan’s The War and Treaty won Emerging Act of the Year honors at Wednesday’s Americana Honors & Awards in Nashville, joining John Prine, Brandi Carlile and I’m With Her as the evening’s big winners.
The soulfully rootsy and passionate band led by Albion couple Michael and Tanya Trotter has soared to national prominence over the past year, a rise affirmed by winning the prestigious Americana Music Association honor.
“We truly didn’t expect to win,” Michael Trotter told Local Spins. “In fact, we were backstage walking away when we heard Winston from Mumford & Sons say, ‘And the winner is: The War and Treaty.’ Tears immediately fell from our eyes.”
He noted that the emerging artist category was filled with impressive acts. “To be nominated alongside artists we believe in such as J.S. Ondara, Jade Bird, Yola and Erin Rae was already a huge honor,” Trotter conceded.
The War and Treaty also performed at the Ryman Auditorium awards show, which honored the legendary John Prine with Album of the Year honors for his latest album, “The Tree of Forgiveness,” Brandi Carlile as Artist of the Year and I’m With Her as Duo/Group of the Year (for which The War and Treaty also was nominated).
“We were the only artist to perform with no music,” Trotter said. “It was truly a moment to hear our voices soar in the historic rafters of the Ryman Auditorium.”
Earlier this year, The War and Treaty won Album of the Year (“Healing Tide”) and Song of the Year (“Jeep Cherokee Laredo”) honors at the WYCE-FM Jammie Awards in Grand Rapids.
VIDEO: “I’ll Fly Away” Finale at Americana Music Awards (including The War and Treaty)
BYRON CENTER’S NATHAN WALTON MAKES CUT IN ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ AUDITIONS
EDITOR’S NOTE: On Thursday, Nathan Walton was informed that he’d made the second cut and will be auditioning in Chicago on Sept. 20 as part of the second step in the “American Idol” selection process.
West Michigan singer-songwriter Nathan Walton, frontman for Nathan Walton & The Revolving Door, made the first cut during Detroit auditions for “American Idol” early this week.
With hundreds of competitors on hand, the first round of auditions for ABC’s next season of “American Idol” took place Tuesday outside Detroit’s TCF Center.
After a couple of performances for judges, Walton was given the thumbs up, taking the first of many steps before performers are selected for the next round.
“It was fun I guess,” the Byron Center singer said. “A lot of waiting in between auditions. I played two songs for about 20 seconds for the first judge, then played three songs fully as they shot video to send to L.A.”
(Check out WZZM TV13’s video report on Detroit’s “American Idol” auditions below.)
According to Walton, he now waits to have his audition tape reviewed by producers in Los Angeles. If he makes that cut, he’ll then travel to Chicago for another audition to determine if he makes it onto the TV show.
“ ‘American Idol’ is a well-oiled machine,” he said. “Lots of steps to make it through.”
Walton said he witnessed only a handful of competitors make it past the first set of judges on Tuesday in Detroit. “I saw probably about 25 people get past into the ‘yes’ zone where they take your video,” he said.
Read more about Walton in this Local Spins Artist Spotlight feature.
VIDEO: ‘American Idol’ Auditions (WZZM TV 13 Report)
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