The Waymores – Greener Pastures
Sometimes it’s best to remember how things were rather than expect something innovative & challenging. Instead, something entertaining, homespun & rural is just what the doctor ordered. This music is steeped in rusty barn nails, straw bales, vintage pick-ups with no doors & tight jeaned sexy butts on shapely women — who turn around & are middle-aged mothers who just held on to their youths a bit longer than most do.
The Waymores & their crack band are vintage & traditional. They render their music “new” & refreshing in how they showcase it. The Waymores aren’t old people, but they are old souls who understand the magic of distilling music & making it smooth no matter how old-timey it may be. It doesn’t hurt to have legendary producer like Shel Talmy (The Kinks, The Who, David Bowie) tweaking the nobs.
This third 10-course meal of delicious country music comes on a plate called Greener Pastures (Drops Aug 25– Chicken Ranch Records). It’s for people who like their music made from Mom’s recipes & these are the muffins, cookies & buns you’ll want.
Atlanta-based Willie Heath Neal & Kira Annalise are the epitome of excellence vocally when it comes to recapturing that spell of country music. These are not all originals; some are vintage like an old baseball glove. Kira’s voice dominates & is sincere. She & Willie embody the spirit of the songs impressively.
Willie has a nice gruff voice. Adds lots of authenticity to his vocalese. Together they are ginger ale & whiskey. They also prove that sometimes you don’t need a big name to get entertained. This is a first-class act. Willie at times blends into a great John Prine style vocally. All he needs is some darkly humored lyrics to make the transition complete. Kira’s borderline Lucinda Williams but not as edgy – a colorful combination. They maintain their own value-added country elements.
There are no political agendas, no radical messages, no crying in your beer or murder stories. The tunes are homegrown & with “Don’t Worry,” finds Willie close to the angst-ridden tonality of George Jones. It’s wonderful. The song was originally a Marty Robbins tune that worked so well it sparked the rest of the album. Too bad the late John Hartford isn’t around to join this duo – he would’ve loved to have added his banjo & fiddle.
Highlights – “Under Your Spell Again,” “Flashbacks of a Fool,” “You Got Gold,” “Green Pastures,” “Don’t Worry” & “Hill Country Waltz.”
Musicians – Willie Heath Neal (acoustic guitar/lead vocals), Kira Annalise (lead vocals/bgv vocals), Dave Pearlman (steel guitar), Terry Wilson, James “Hutch” Hutchinson (bass guitar), Johnny Lee Schell (lead guitar), Tony Braunagel (drums), Phil Parlapiano (piano) & Maxayn Lewis (bgv).
CD cover image by Lindsay Garrett. The 31-minute CD @ https://www.thewaymores.com/ & https://store.chickenranchrecords.com/products/the-waymores-greener-pastures-preorder