Who would have ever thought that two solo artist from opposite sides of the world would meet, fall in love and decide one day to combine their talents to form a group called The War and Treaty with a new hit album, ‘The War and Treaty: Live at Blue House’? Husband and wife duo, Michael Trotter, Jr., a well-known Indie artist and Tanya Blount, a recognized R&B singer and actress from the movie Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, did just that! The War and Treaty are touring with songs from their new hit album and the blend of their two voices performing as a team, together with their artistry and charisma on stage is nothing short of magical.
On January 21, 2015, the duo will release their debut album entitled ‘The War and Treaty: Live at Blue House’, recorded in front of a live studio audience in Bethesda, Maryland. Fans can pre-order the album on Amazon and iTunes and join The War and Treaty at a CD Release Party at the Hard Rock Café Baltimore on January 21. Fifty percent of all digital album sales proceeds in 2015 will be donated to Operation Second Chance, a non-profit organization committed to serving wounded, injured and ill combat veterans including those with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD hits close to home with the band, as Trotter was recently diagnosed with it after serving two tours in Iraq.
Five years ago, the two solo artists met at a Love Festival. The War and Treaty website states, “Michael Trotter, Jr. had just returned home after serving in the Iraq war and Tanya Blount was performing on various stages around the world. They fell in love and combined their talents to form The War and Treaty. The duo have been performing on stage and writing beautiful music together ever since.”
Most will instantly recognize singer Tanya Blount from the movie Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit where she sang “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” with Lauryn Hill. Blount appeared on the Big Break television show (similar to Star Search) hosted by Natalie Cole. From there, she secured a recording contract with Polydor Records at age 19. The following year, she released her first album, Natural Thing, which peaked at #7 on the R&B chart. The album’s first single “I’m Gonna Make You Mine” peaked to #57 on Billboard’s R&B Singles chart. Two singles followed, “Through the Rain” and “Hold On” soared to #27 and #66 respectively on Billboard’s R&B Singles chart. By 1995, Blount received a nomination for Best New Artist at the Soul Train Awards.
Michael Trotter is most recognizable as a former Indie Gospel artist trudging through the trenches of the underground pipelines. In 1996, he won Washington DC’s Futurefest Singing Competition hosted by former mayor Marion Barry. From there, Trotter joined the military where he served valiantly in Iraq from 2003-2007. In 2005, Trotter won the Baumholder, Germany “Military Idol” judged by American Idol’s voice coach Debra Bryd, ACM’s award winning vocalist Mark Wills and legendary recording artist Michael Peterson. In 2012, Trotter was featured on Hope Channel’s My Story, My Song where he both sang as a solo artist and shared his story about his time at war. In 2013, Trotter received Congressional Recognition from the House of Representatives and was presented a certificate by Rep. Donna Edwards.
The husband and wife duo are currently increasing fans on the social media airwaves with the soulful pop-folk songs from their much anticipated album. Their music is intimate, innovative and exciting. The War and Treaty is gaining momentum and their success has already led to a national 20 city tour in United States ending in Zurich, Switzerland for 2014.
In November, The War and Treaty performed to a packed house at the Hard Rock Café DC. The crowd was excited and loved their performance. Every single song they sang showed how well they perform as a team. Their writing styles and voices blend perfectly—in a way that is both powerful and divine. The songs have a Folk style with a hint of a modern twist to it. They can be compared to other musical powerhouses such as duos who inspired them, including Johnny Cash and June Carter, Sonny & Cher, Simon & Garfunkel, and even Ashford & Simpson. The War and Treaty has created a sound that is both riveting and innovative, just as their notable predecessors.
Most wonder how they came up with the interesting group name, The War and Treaty. Earlier in writing sessions and rehearsals, there was some angst about the way their sound was coming out. At times, frustration would forge into tension, and tension unchecked eventually evolves into war. Michael Trotter explains, “We would literally battle each other over the compositions– in a professional way of course– however, we would find no end.” Tanya Blount concurs, “We were like two different countries at war without any signs of a treaty. Then that Aha!-moment suddenly hit me, ‘Why not The War and Treaty?’ I presented it to Mike and he fell in love with it for obvious reasons.”
Trotter shares, “The hardest part about transitioning from solo artists to a duo band has been trying to come up with a band name. The naming of anything in life is a sacred space. I heard an artist once liken it to naming a child.”
The War and Treaty is ready to take listeners on a soulful journey with a sound that transcends musical boundaries. This duo and their ‘new folk sound’ are nothing short of magical. To pre-order the CD, visit Amazon or iTunes. For upcoming tour dates and CD release information, visit thewarandtreaty.com and follow them on facebook.com/TheWarandTreaty and Twitter: @warandtreaty.
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