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War and Treaty was "head over heels" to appear on "ACL"

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Friday, January 15, 2021

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The War and Treaty's performance on this week's "Austin City Limits" was a highlight for the Michigan-formed duo. And one filled with purpose.

Nowhere is that more true than during Michael and Tanya Trotter's rendition of "Take Me In" from their 2020 album "Hearts Town" -- previewed exclusively via theoaklandpress.com/entertainment -- which breaks into a spontaneous snippet of Ray Charles' arrangement of "America the Beautiful," with Michael Trotter declaring "America...it's time to unite!"

The performance was filmed before a small live audience on Nov. 10, after the presidential election but at the beginning of Donald Trump's ultimately fruitless and attempts to thwart the outcome. And it's not lost on the War and Treaty that the episode is airing Saturday, Jan. 16 (11 p.m. on Detroit Public Television, Channel 56) -- at a time of even greater strife and polarization.

"We didn't think it could get any worse," Michael notes by phone from the Trotters' home in Nashville, "and everything that's happened since has been very, very volcanic. Tanya and I are both firm believers in following the spirit, and...the spirit in that moment said 'Speak to your country, speak to America.'

"And that's the most intention part of the show, where we have a moment where we just speak directly to you and your life and our families, different people across the United States...What are we gonna do? Are we gonna heal? Are you going to be angry and bitter or are you going to heal and be intentional about that healing? To me, that's what this episode's about."

Performing for the program -- with an eight-piece band and before a small live audience at ACL's Moody Theatre in Texas -- was also among the War and Treaty's bucket list, according to the Trotters.

"We were just head over heels to be there," Michael recalls. "When you walk backstage and through out to the theater...I don't even know how to capture what we felt. We just felt lifted and felt like we weren't in the pandemic. It felt like we were in a moment where we could really do some good and really add to the history of the place.

"To be able to perform on 'Austin City Limits' in the most critical point of our country's history, that's all we could think about -- that we get to bring the love here and put it out there and give our talk about making sure that we as a country, it's WE and not us and them."

"Austin City Limits" isn't the War and Treaty's only television appearance this week. The group also performs on NBC's "Today" show at 9:40 a.m. EST Friday, Jan. 15 (WDIV, Channel 4 in Detroit) in a segment taped in Nashville.

The "Hearts Town" album, the group's second full-length effort, was released Sept. 25. The group, which has been nominated for Artist of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards (announced Feb. 22) will also perform, virtually, on Jan. 29 at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival and is planning its own virtual Hugs & Kisses Valentine's Day concert on Feb. 14 via Sessions Live.

More information and updates via thewarandtreaty.com.

Web Site: bit.ly/3oKuu9z

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