Two powerhouse duos collided at the 2022 CMA Awards last month (Nov. 9), when Brothers Osborne hopped onstage with the War and Treaty to perform their tribute to the Rolling Stones, “It’s Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It).”
The performance was a true genre mash-up: Husband-and-wife duo the War and Treaty can typically be found in the Americana format, while Brothers Osborne deliver a patented jam band-esque brand of country music — to say nothing of the song choice, which is a staple of rock ‘n’ roll from the mid-1970s.
The two duos recorded this song together for Stoned Cold Country, a country-leaning tribute project celebrating the Stones’ 60th anniversary of being a band, and their diverse sonic leanings is at the heart of their musical partnership, and their friendship, too.
Backstage at the CMAs, the War and Treaty’s Michael Trotter told press the full story of how he and his wife and duo partner Tanya first met the Brothers Osborne after another awards show, the ACM Awards.
“It’s a testimony to the family atmosphere of country music, period,” Michael explains. It all started in April 2021, when they joined Dierks Bentley at the ACM Awards for a performance of another rock classic, U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love).”
“And that evening, we got an Instagram message from TJ [Osborne] saying, ‘Hey, I’m having an afterparty at my house and I want y’all to come by,” he continues. “We hadn’t met him or anything like that. We went to his house and he was so kind to us.:
“He didn’t care that I was eating all the food up and drinking all the drink up,” Michael jokes. “So when we were propositioned with this tribute to the Rolling Stones with Brothers Osborne, we were just overjoyed, filled with so much love and happiness, and we hope that that is the most important thing that came across in the performance tonight. Because we really felt it.”
The special dynamics of the onstage lineup — a sibling duo and a husband-and-wife duo — aren’t lost on the War and Treaty, either. “Where else could you get two brothers and two lovers colliding like that?” Michael says.