Country spousal duo The Waymores play at Rooster’s in Mesa this weekend


By Val Tapia, BADS Contributing Writer

Photos provide by artist, promoters & Velveteen Visions, All rights reserved

It’s interesting to see how “popular” country music has become over the last 20 years in particular. However, there’s also been plenty of debate (online and elsewhere) during that time what “real” country music is— or isn’t— depending on your point-of-view.

During a quick phone chat with a “new” duo called The Waymores, who released their second full-length studio album Greener Pastures last month,  Willie Heath Neal and Kira Annalise touched on that very subject (and of course, the new album as well). They’re also playing live at Rooster’s in Mesa this Sunday Sept. 10. Even better, it’s a free afternoon show that starts at 3:00 p.m. Go check them out!

The Waymores 1 by Velveteen Visions


BADS: Thank you both for taking the time to chat with me. First, let’s talk about your new album Greener Pastures. Upon first listen, I have to ask where you both feel this album “fits in”, if you will, in today’s country landscape?

Kira Annalise: Honestly, I don’t think we’ve ever fit in with mainstream country music at all. I guess I’d refer to us as alt-country. This album is definitely not mainstream, although for more open-minded radio programmers, there’s certainly a place for it we feel.

Willie Heath Neal: That’s kind of a trick question because if anything, The Waymores are real country. What you hear on mainstrem “country” radio today is definitely not country. If anything, they’re country musicians who want to be rock stars. That just doesn’t appeal to us.

BADS: Greener Pastures, and The Waymores in general, harken back to an early era of country. It has much more in common with Johnny and June Carter Cash to my ears. How do you feel you’ve grown musically on this record compared to your last album The Stone Sessions?

Annalise: We definitely took this record more seriously than our previous two albums. We were fortunate to have worked with a great team of people who were very serious about what they do. It really motivated us to work just as hard, yet we still enjoyed ourselves while making the album.

Neal: Working with Shel Talmy was an amazing experience. You might know that this man is in his 80s and still working. Shel has worked with both The Kinks and The Who, so it was a real honor that he wanted to produce Greener Pastures.

BADS: The album is 10 songs total and runs roughly 35 minutes. I thought to myself… less can indeed be more. Likewise, more isn’t always better. Am I off-base with that?

Neal: No, you’re absolutely correct with that. In fact, there were some songs that were actually cut down because Shel felt some parts were unnecessary. I’ll admit I wasn’t happy about it at first, but once we saw that the songs improved greatly by cutting them down, I was on board. Ultimately, Shel was right.

Annalise: Recording the entire record live was our first time doing so. It was great, and it definitley made the album better I think. We hope to do the same (for future albums).

BADS: The Waymores tour with a full band as well as just you two as a duo. Which show will Mesa fans be seeing at Roosters on Sept. 9?

Annalise: For the Mesa show, it’ll be just Willie and I acoustically. We’ll be doing a good portion of the new album, with some selections from The Stone Sessions and our EP Weeds. Of course, some of our favorite covers will be included as well.

Neal: We also add a little storytelling in our shows. We find that our fans really relate to the things we talk about, so that adds to the fun. We’re looking forward to playing Arizona again!


The Waymores, with special guest to be announced are scheduled to play this Sun. Sept. 9 at Rooster’s in Mesa. There is no cover charge.

Showtime: 3:00 p.m.

More info at


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