The duo The War and Treaty took to the Gold Record Road Stage Saturday afternoon at the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm.
As a couple, Michael and Tanya Trotter tie in many musical elements into their music, never limiting themselves to just one genre of music.
The duo combines many styles into “musical gumbo” as Michael Trotter explained. They describe themselves as a mixture of soul, traditional folk, country and spirituals all in one.
“Gumbo has all kinds of veggies, meats and flavors in it,” he said. “We don’t limit ourselves and box ourselves in.”
Michael Trotter is also an Army veteran, who was deployed during the war in Iraq. After almost two years serving and losing some of his friends, he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when he returned home.
Tanya Trotter is a constant support system for him through challenging days.
“People think PTSD is just something that happens and you go to therapy and it’s over, but it’s not,” she said. “It’s something that you’re always going through, and as a family, you go through it. Every time you see us up there as a band, they don’t really know what we had to go through to get on stage that particular day.”
Through the challenges, Michael Trotter has plenty to be thankful for as they tour all around the country to perform.
“The gratitude I have in my heart, to be able to live out not just my dream, but the dreams of so many soldiers I had conversations with that have passed on,” he said.
The duo’s band name may have changed close to six times over the years, but the name The War and Treaty finally clicked after a lengthy discussion between the couple.
“We were arguing as passionately as we could, and when Tanya got tired, she said, ‘Michael, this not the war and we need to come to sort of treaty,’” Michael Trotter said.
For the duo, making their Pilgrimage debut was an experience filled with plenty of love all the way around, from the crowd and one another.
“I feel amazing,” Tanya Trotter said. “It’s a great festival and family-oriented. It’s just beautiful.”
For Trotter, the Pilgrimage experience was filled with “love for one another, love for the adventure, love for what we do.”
“Everything we do is passionate,” he said.
For more information about the band, go to https://www.thewarandtreaty.com/about.