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Album Review: The War & Treaty “Healing Tide”

Country fans, blues fans, gospel fans, southern rock fans: stop what you’re doing and listen to this album. This is the space on the Venn Diagram where all those genres meet, where you can hear the soul roots of Americana.

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Country fans,  blues fans, gospel fans, southern rock fans: stop what you’re doing and listen to this album. This is the space on the Venn Diagram where all those genres meet, where you can hear the soul roots of Americana.

First, let’s back up about 20something years and revisit this duet in Sister Act 2:

The girl singing with Lauryn Hill is Tanya Blount and she tried to make a go of it in R&B after the movie came out. Unfortunately, though her live performances were praised (because she could really blow, especially for her age), she was saddled with a lot of subpar material and her debut album is largely forgettable. Her singles were decent but you’d be hard-pressed to remember anything about them once the track was over.  Case in point, “Through the Rain” which is perfectly pleasant, and wholly unremarkable:

She kept performing, but for the most part, disappeared and you only heard about her if she popped up in your city performing on a circuit or a festival.

Michael Trotter wrote songs from childhood on as a way to deal with a difficult upbringing in and out of homeless shelters around DC. He enlisted in the army at 21 as a pathway to hopefully providing for his young daughter, and after his captain was killed, he wrote a song in tribute to him. When his comrades heard it, that became his new duty — writing songs in tribute to his fallen brothers in arms whenever one was killed in the line of fire.

Michael kept pursuing music and the future duo’s path’s crossed when he and Tanya were booked for the same festival. The rest led to marriage, a kid, and The War and Treaty.

And y’all — this is the sangin’est married couple I have ever heard. Tanya is truly a gift to music because nobody who listened to her smooth R&B of the 90s would have pictured this much grit and this much rock & roll from her. She sounds like a natural successor to early Tina Turner’s vocal style on a good half of this album, but she’s also perfectly content to take a backseat to Michael who is an actual hurricane. Both of their voices feel like church, but Black men outside of the pulpit don’t really sing like Michael anymore. He sounds much closer to white southern rock artists like Chris Stapleton or Josh Krajcik or Anderson East than any Black male singers — other than preachers and worship leaders. If the Clark Sisters had a man in the group, it would be Michael Trotter, squalls and all.

So on one side you have Tina Turner/CeCe Winans, and on the other side you have Chris Stapleton/Dorinda Clark making music that bridges that gap between blues, country, Southern rock, and gospel. That gap is Soul, and they sing every note with so much of it. Tanya summed it up best herself:

“With The War and Treaty, we allow people to see two people that are not perfect. We get on stage. We sweat. We’re overweight. We yell. We get ugly, we scream! My hair comes loose. We’re vulnerable — naked — in front of people, and it’s a chain reaction. It allows them to be vulnerable too.”

Catch a blessing on today.

This is straight boogie-woogie and I live! “Healing Tide”

A good ol’ southern country blues groove: “Are You Ready To Love Me?”

An hourlong live set at The Kennedy Center because these folks are the real deal and sound exactly the same from a stage:

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Watch: Megan Thee Stallion “Thot Shit”

Who is doing it like Megan?

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Music videos don’t surprise me anymore…but Megan just surprised me. The Nightmare on Elm Street throwback? These costumes? The political commentary? Cheyenne Escada from Legendary making a cameo?
 
And Megan’s flow is just so smooth. Who is doing it like her?
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90s R&B Girl Groups Playlist

Every song I like from every R&B girl group of the 90s.

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The Xscape / SWV Verzuz prompted me to make a playlist of all the songs I like from R&B girl groups of the 90s. It’s in chronological order, so it’s a good progression of sounds and trends, from En Vogue “Hold On” to En Vogue “Riddle”

If your jam is missing, it might not be on Spotify (Pure Soul “We Must Be In Love” Brownstone “5 Miles to Empty” etc.) but lemme know if I skipped some groups!

(Also, I think I might expand into the 2000s a bit? Cherish and ISYSS and groups like that fit right in, and I want more Destiny’s Child.)

((AlsoAlso, the Spotify embed stops at 100 songs, but there are over twice that many on it. It’s an extensive overview!))

 

 

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Ultimate Christmas Party

Bops ONLY! No ballads!

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I love Christmas music!

No sarcasm either. I worked retail for the better part of a decade and it didn’t make me hate holiday season at all — but it gave me a lot of Christmas Bops! The thing that I don’t like about most Christmas playlists is when you’re at a party and you have a good vibe going and then somebody’s overly ad-libbed version of “Silent Night” or “O Come Emmanuel” comes on and drags the mood down.

So this is a Christmas Party Playlist — bops only, no ballads. I tried to group the songs together by genre so you could skip a section if that’s not your sound, but it roughly goes from Gospel to R&B to Pop to Rock to Country and I feel like you should just put it on shuffle for your Ugly Christmas Party and have a ball.

And! For the heathens who like some secular music sprinkled in, there’s a Deluxe version that has a non-holiday bop for every Christmas song.

Happy Holidays!

(For those who are asking, I didn’t make a Christmas Wishlist this year because I’ll be moving in a few months and I don’t need anything until we see what our space is like. Send good vibes and do something nice for somebody!)

 

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twitter.com/RafiDAngelo
Email: rafi@soletstalkabout.com
Venmo: Rafi-DAngelo
CashApp: $RafiDAngelo
paypal.me/soletstalkabout

 

 

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