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Live From The Current Studio

The War and Treaty perform in The Current studio

The War and Treaty -- Michael and Tanya Trotter -- perform in The Current studio.
The War and Treaty -- Michael and Tanya Trotter -- perform in The Current studio.Nate Ryan | MPR
  Play Now [25:23]

by Bill DeVille

November 18, 2018

The War and Treaty - Jeep Cherokee Laredo (Live at The Current)
by MPR
The War and Treaty - Are You Ready to Love Me? (Live at The Current)
by MPR
The War and Treaty - Hey Pretty Moon (Live at The Current)
by MPR

Michael Trotter's story of how he learned to play piano is different from most people's. "I learned over in Iraq," he says, "on one of Saddam Hussein's pianos in one of the palaces that we seized. I learned in a very difficult time under very difficult circumstances; had never taken a lesson before."

Prior to his music career, Michael Trotter had served in the U.S. Army, including a three-and-a-half year deployment in Iraq. "It was the highlight of my life to be able to serve our country alongside some of the finest men and women," he says. "I actually started my songwriting processes over there, learning how to write songs, not just about myself and my experiences, but the experiences of others. That kind of songwriting actually took me away from one job to another job — away from serving our country on the front lines in an infantry unit, to serving the soldiers with a special dose of melodic healing."

Following his exit from the army, Michael struggled to find work and a permanent home. When he started performing again in churches, he began to get his footing in music and in the world. In 2010, Michael met Tanya. "We connected from there and have been inseparable ever since," Michael says.

Together, Michael and Tanya Trotter form the nucleus of The War and Treaty. Their debut album, Healing Tide, was released on Aug. 10, 2018. After taking September's Americana Music Association Honors and Awards presentation ceremony by storm, the War and Treaty have been touring in support of the album, and they've even made an appearance on Live From Here with Chris Thile, where they received a standing ovation from the Fitzgerald Theater audience.

Ahead of their recent show at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minnepolis, the War and Treaty stopped at The Current for a session hosted by Bill DeVille. The stories Michael and Tanya Trotter share are as captivating as their music. Listen to the complete session using the audio player above.

More Video

Songs Performed

"Jeep Cherokee Laredo"
"Are You Ready to Love Me?"
"Hey Pretty Moon"
Songs 1 and 2 are from The War and Treaty's 2018 album, Healing Tide, available on Strong World Entertainment / Thirty Tigers; the third song is a new, unreleased song from the War and Treaty.

Hosted by Bill DeVille
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

The War and Treaty - official site