“I’ve seen our mothers cry within/From our parents who refuse to call us kin,” the husband-and-wife group’s Michael Trotter sings during the song’s emotional climax, before reaching the chorus with his wife and musical partner Tanya Blount Trotter. “But I’ve sinked my hands and nails in their skin/Let’s break this curse/Oh, wont you take me in.” Toward the end of the performance, Trotter sings a snippet of “America the Beautiful.”
The anthem of acceptance and embrace is one of the highlights from the War and Treat’s second album, Hearts Town, which was released last fall. It’s the follow-up to their 2018 debut Healing Tide.
“We’re not the kumbaya cats that people may want to paint on us,” Trotter told Rolling Stone last year. “We intentionally wanted to focus on healing with Healing Tide, but we might’ve given off the wrong impression in saying that we are the healers.” Instead, he said, “We are the hopeful cats.”
Ruthie Foster also appears on the War and Treaty’s ACL episode, which premieres Saturday, January 16th, on PBS.