The Atlanta duo’s third album, Greener Pastures, due out in August
Atlanta songwriting duo Kira Annalise and Willie Neal, known collectively as The Waymores, have a fantastic new album coming out in August called Greener Pastures.
Produced by legendary British Invasion studio maven Shel Talmy and engineered by Grammy award winning guitar player, composer, engineer and songwriter Johnny Lee Schell (Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, B.B. King), the duo originally set out to cut a 45 of two country classics chosen from a list given to them by Talmy. The Waymores spent two days at Schell’s studio recording Marty Robbins’ “Don’t Worry” and Buck Owens’ “Under Your Spell.”
Then something a bit magical happened. Everybody fell in love with what was supposed to be a small project and it turned into a BIG project – what would become The Waymores third studio album, Greener Pastures.
“We left the session for the two songs and knew we had to come back but didn’t know if we could make it happen,” Neal says. Annalise continues “We got home and just wrote and wrote and wrote. Then we called on friends to write with us. We wanted everything to be in the same vein as the two covers we had already done.”
It all came together in the end and the project is some of The Waymores’ best work to date, with the pair giving most of the credit to the studio musicians.
The players on the sessions included Dave Pearlman on steel guitar (Merle Haggard, Hoyt Axton, Phil Everly, Chuck Berry, and more and creator of Pearlman Microphones), Terry Wilson on bass on Under Your Spell and Don’t Worry (Alejandro Escovedo, Townes Van Zandt and others), James “Hutch” Hutchinson on bass for the other 8 tracks (Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Al Green, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King and the late David Crosby amongst countless others), the aptly named Phil Parlapiano on keys (Joan Baez, John Prine, Rod Stewart) and drummer Tony Braunagel (studio work with Grammy winning albums of Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy and live work with BB King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Lyle Lovett and more). Tony and Terry were also in the house studio band for Island Records.
All 10 tracks were recorded live, which was a first for The Waymores.
“It will be the standard from here on out.” Annalise says about it. “We still looked down every now and then to make sure our feet were touching the floor. The caliber of musicians in that room had the potential to be wildly intimidating but we were so welcomed and treated as equals. The whole experience was one that we will cherish for the rest of our days and the outcome is something of which we are beyond proud.”
Rock & Roll Globe is honored to premiere one of the best songs on Greener Pastures, the honky tonk original “But I Don’t,” a tandem ballad in the grand spirit of George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
“This is the first time that we’ve ever written for the project instead of just writing tunes and creating an album around them,” Annalise explains. “’But I Don’t’ was written in one of our first writing sessions for this album. Willie had the whole first verse written by the time I had the drinks poured and the rest flowed fairly easily. It was one of those songs that was done in about five minutes. The guts of it didn’t really come together until the band got involved and they really did us proud. It’s an attempt at being tongue and cheek, almost Prine-esque in places, but still holding on to that Waymores writing style as much as we could.”
Greener Pastures comes out on August 25th via Chicken Ranch Records, while “But I Don’t” hits all digital platforms this Friday.
AUDIO: The Waymores “But I Don’t”