Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Expect nothing less from Waymores

Americana duo bringing act to Rail on April 30


Anthony Gadson

Associate Editor

Published April 20, 2022

Fresh off the release of their sophomore album, the Waymores have been on the road so much that they have not really been able to let the accomplishment soak in.

“Trying to squeeze in all the shows we can,” Willie Heath Neal said.

Joined by Kira Annalise, the self-described acoustic honky-tonk Americana duo out of Atlanta are currently on a 10-date tour that began in Tallahassee, Florida, on April 15, and will bring them to The Brass Rail on Saturday, April 30.

“It’s been a hell of a few months,” Annalise said as the two were trying to catch their breath after a three-week stint that saw them travel as far as New Mexico, which included a pair of showcases in mid-March at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

“I’m not gonna lie, I was tired after that tour,” Neal said.

Making Album

The two have been on the road supporting Stone Sessions, a followup up to 2019’s EP Weeds, released by Chicken Ranch Records out of Austin, Texas.

“COVID kind of gave us another year,” Annalise said about making their second record, which was released April 8. “People want you to keep churning out records now, but we got a little extra time.”

That extra time allowed them to record a diverse album that varies from songs about self-destructive relationships on “Even When,” tongue-in-cheek lyrics on “I Don’t Like Liquor,” and downright silly fun about pets on “Ode to the Animals.”

“This album was a lot different to make,” Annalise said. “We made it during the quarantine, so the band all recorded remotely from their homes. We missed the camaraderie that you find in the studio, and the happy accidents that usually happen, but he overall result, we think, still sounds like we were all in the same room together.”

Familiar with Area

While it might be tough for some couples to spend as much time confined together in a van as they have, Neal and Annalise actually prefer it this way.

“When we’d have a full band with us, we’d return home, and after paying everyone, we were broke,” Neal said. “So, we started the Waymores. It’s blissful.”

When it comes to touring, it’s Annalise who does the bookings, though Neal did have a say in scheduling the Brass Rail show.

Before forming the Waymores, Neal toured with other bands as well as a solo artist, and The Brass Rail was a popular stop.

“That’s the spot to be,” he said.

And the dive-bar setting is just the way they like it.

“I don’t like big rooms,” Neal said. “I like big crowds, but I’d rather be able to talk with the crowd.”

“That’s a big part of our show, being able to communicate,” Annalise added.

Although they’re from the Deep South, the Waymores are pretty familiar with the area.

They have already played at Neat Neat Neat Records and The Ruin in Fort Wayne.

They have also become familiar with local musician Pete Dio, who will be performing the same night at The Brass Rail with his band the Old Dirty.

Starslinger is also on the docket.

Fort Wayne will be the farthest north the duo come during the tour, and they are also looking forward to a couple stops in Tennessee.

“It will be our first time at Cherry’s Taven in Chattanooga, but we’ve played Chattanooga before,” Annalise said. “Hernando’s Hide-A-Way is a favorite of ours to play.”

Describing Sound

And their sound fits right in with the Memphis scene, regardless of how you want to define it.

“We’ve been called everything,” Annalise said. “We’ve had reviews say we’re mainstream country, cow-punk, and all kinds of stuff. We just like to say we’re acoustic honky-tonk Americana.”

Cow-punk?

“Yeah, I’m not sure where they came from,” Neal said.

However you want to define their music, the Waymores promise to deliver a show you will not forget.

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