REVIEW: The Loving Joy and Heartfelt Soul of The War and Treaty’s “Healing Tide”


The War and Treaty’s latest release Healing Tide is a moving, loving, heartwarming collection of music from Michael Trotter Jr. and his wife Tanya Blount-Trotter that you are bound to enjoy and keep playing over and over. Released by Strong World/Thirty Tigers Records and produced by the magical Buddy Miller (Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Julie Miller and so many others) Healing Tide actually feels like a healing tide….washing ashore somewhere in the south, taking you under in its deep heartfelt soul undercurrent and bringing you to the surface with its lovingly joyful vocals and musical skies. Surrounded and buoyed by the superstar band consisting of Tanya on vocals, Michael on vocals, piano and organ, Buddy on guitar and banjo, the mighty Brady Blake on drums, Adam Chaffins on bass, Jim Hoke on organ, saxophone and harmonica, Russ Pahl on pedal steel and banjo, noted fiddle player Sam Bush, Bill Huber on trombone, and Matt Slocum on cello, the music is positively uplifting and deeply emotional. They are also lovingly joined by the always angelic Emmylou Harris on “Here Is Where the Loving Is At.” The Michigan based couple are a dynamic force to be reckoned with (Michael being a wounded warrior after his service in Iraq), and were noted by Rolling Stone magazine at the AmericanaFest 2017 as “One of the 20 Best Things We Saw.” The entire release is magnificent to listen to and to take in and feel as often as possible.

The opening track “Love Like There’s No Tomorrow” is a plaintive, longing vocal and percussion only duet between Michael and Tanya that feels like gospel and commands your attention. The title track “Healing Tide” and its’ jumping organ and signature Buddy Miller guitar are like super cool 60’s pop and R & B never left. This whole collection of music is full of boy/girl duets a la Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell. “Are You Ready to Love Me?” is a killer track and a brilliant tribute to the style of the late, great Aretha Franklin…while being distinctly Tanya’s. Its powerful and upbeat horns really take you there.

“Hearts” is a love fueled, plaintive ballad showcasing their vocals and their magic together. This song belongs in a movie in a poignant scene between two people in love. “Jeep Cherokee Laredo” is a driving tune about love in the backseat of a particularly small vehicle. The cool little banjo and harmonica set to the vocal line of “Ain’t none of your business” remind you of those nights of stolen romance wherever you could find it. “One And The Same” is a sweet little Americana ditty, simple and direct and so sweet sounding with its’ warm slide guitar and tasty harmonica. You can hear the Buddy Miller touch and feel here, and it’s delightful. “It’s In Your Heart” is a beautiful Southern Gothic track that completely showcases Michaels’ tremendous vocals.

“Here Is Where the Loving is At” is a beautiful tune that features Emmylou Harris and the combination of both ladies’ voices really takes the track to a special place. “All I Wanna Do” is a powerful upbeat blend of Motown, Muscle Shoals. Detroit and Memphis sounds propelled by Brady Blakes’ always in the pocket drumming. “It’s Not Over Yet” is a hopeful song about keeping on and perseverance. The final track, “Little New Bern” is a haunting song that brings the record home, with its’ entwined vocals and loving melodies that will give you chills… a masterpiece of a coda.

The War and Treaty is on tour now throughout the United States through November. They will be performing at AmericanaFest 2018 in Nashville from September 12th -15th. Their latest effort Healing Tide is a wonderful collection of music of all styles.   Give it a listen, here:


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