Taping Recap

Taping Recap: The War And Treaty

Backed by an incredible seven-piece band, Nashville-based husband and wife duo Michael and Tanya Trotter, AKA The War And Treaty, dazzled Austin City Limits last week for a second time. Their first performance on ACL was during the pandemic, so the Grammy-nominated duo unfortunately taped their debut episode to a limited audience. This time around, the dynamic pair took the stage to a high-energy, captivated live audience who hung on their every lyric, offering multiple standing ovations throughout the night. 

“Can we take you to church tonight?” asked Michael Trotter Jr. of the audience early in their set, kicking off the hour with “Till the Walls Fall,” and new track “Tunnel Vision,” to be released on their forthcoming album (set for a 2025 release). After a soulful, “Are you Ready to Love Me,” the duo took a breath, a crew member running out to blot the sweat from powerhouse singer Michael Trotter Jr. He then introduced “Blank Page” as the song that garnered he and Tanya  “a couple of firsts in our lives. “It got us our first Academy of Country Music Award nomination, our first Country Music Association award nomination, and first Grammy nomination…” continued Trotter Jr. As The War And Treaty continued into highlights “That’s How Love is Made,” “Yesterday’s Burn,” and “Reminisce,” it was more than apparent, from their otherworldly vocal harmonies to their onstage chemistry, that the duo is sonically synced in a way that’s deeply rooted with love for each other and for what they do. They held hands during a few of their songs. Taking a moment before “Stealin’ A Kiss” to describe their first date and how they came to fall in love, the stories the duo told behind some of their songs were equally as entertaining as the songs themselves. 

The set took a turn to introspection, as U.S. War Veteran Michael Trotter Jr. prefaced “Skyscraper” with some background on his two tours in Iraq, and the decisions in his life that led him there. Shouting out his “battle buddies,” Trotter Jr. said, “I want to dedicate this song to everyone here.” From there, the talented pair  closed out their set with the upbeat “Called You by Your Name,” featuring spirited violin from Chelsey Green, followed by “Leads Me Home.” 

“Happy 50th Anniversary, Austin City Limits,” shouted Trotter Jr. as he recognized each band member, cuing the audience for applause for each talented person. As The War And Treaty left the stage to an audience on their feet, applauding, one thing was certain: bringing them back to the Austin City Limits stage for a proper live taping was the best decision we could have made. The War And Treaty’s taping will air this fall as part of Austin City Limits’ golden 50th anniversary season. 

The War And Treaty performs on Austin City Limits, June 28, 2024. Photos by Scott Newton.

Listen to the full set list from the Austin City Limits taping below: (Note that “Till the Walls Fall,” “Tunnel Vision,” “Reminisce,” and “Skyscraper” were performed but are not currently available on Spotify.)


Michael Trotter, Jr. – Piano, Vocals 

Tanya Blount Trotter – Vocals 

Max Brown – Lead Guitar 

Jonathan “Bam” Holmes – Drums

Tom Davis – Bass

Terrance “Slim” Holmes – Hammond Organ 

Ben Murray – Pedal Steel Joe 

Jordan – Trumpet 

Chelsey Green – Violin