As The War and Treaty, Michael and Tanya Trotter serve up healing and pain robbing with freewheeling joy on the monumental new full-length album, Healing Tide. An original tour-de-force produced by Buddy Miller, the collection swaggers with a confidence only gained by artists who are wholly, proudly, themselves. Funky bass lines, keys, lap steel, acoustic strings, and stripped-down percussion create a swampy Southern soul bed for the couple's transcendent vocals. Michael wrote every track on Healing Tide .
Opener "Love Like There's No Tomorrow" sets the tone both thematically and vocally. Stark tambourine gives way to Michael's gravelly locomotive vocals, which are joined in an early chorus by Tanya's soaring harmonies. Tanya takes over in "Are You Ready to Love Me," as an old-school groove propelled by bass, electric guitar, and pedal steel growls. Featuring a divine cameo from Emmylou Harris, "Here is Where the Loving is At" offers a moving portrait of loyal femininity and grace. Sweet but frank, "One and the Same" shuffles through a message of unity and recognition of ourselves in others who don't look or sound like we do. Over crying steel, "It's Not Over Yet" extends empathy and an outstretched hand to those losing faith.
Both Tanya and Michael admit to having favorites. "Little New Bern" hits hard for Tanya, painting vivid pictures of her grandparents' farm. Michael singles out "Jeep Cherokee Laredo," a scorcher that tells The War and Treaty story. A thumping sing-along, the song swings and jumps with joyful shouts from both Michael and Tanya. Another standout, the title track offers an invitation: be part of humanity's reconciliation. Michael wrote the song first as a gauntlet thrown down not to others, but to himself.