There have been some superbly talented and powerful musical couples over the years. Duos like Ike and Tina Turner, Sonny and Cher, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and many more have captivated audiences by demonstrating unrelenting passion both musically and emotionally. Another couple that you can add to your list of musical power couples is Michael and Tanya Trotter who make up the steadily growing group, The War and Treaty.

On stage, the couple seem to be one in the same; but it wasn’t always like that. According to their website, “Michael and Tanya Trotter took distinctly different paths to becoming The War and Treaty.” Tanya had grown up in a modest home near the nation’s capital and knew she was destined to be a professional musician ever since she won talent shows at 13 years old. She had a pristine voice that could also hit the gritty tones of past blues goddesses like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith.

Michael on the other hand had a rough childhood, moving in and out of foster homes and fathering a child of his own when he was just 19. In order to give his daughter a better life, he entered the army in 2003, stationed in Iraq. Michael was admired by everyone around him and he would play them songs on a piano he found nearby. One of Michael’s captains heard him sing and encouraged him to write and play music for a living. “When that same captain was killed, Michael sat down to write––really write––for the first time.”
The pair met at a festival a few years after Michael returned home from the war. They exchanged numbers, and everything fell into place from there. Now, with a six-year-old child and a great duo, Michael and Tanya have a beautiful story not many people can relate to.

The War and Treaty is a refreshing blues, roots, and folk band that showcases Michael’s booming soul-drenched voiced intertwined with his wife’s insane range and growly perfection. Their second album Healing Tide was released on August 10, 2018; it rocks, makes you feel emotional, and is just a great piece of music.


Patrick Ortiz