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Meet Kira Annalise and Willie Heath Neal of The Waymores in Marietta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kira Annalise and Willie Heath Neal.

Kira and Willie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We met in a dive bar about 13 years ago. I (Kira) was singing in a band but I didn’t know how to write music or play guitar. Willie was already about 20 years into his career. He and I became part of a big ensemble group at that bar and we’d play a few shows around town. The rest of that ensemble ended up moving in other directions but we stayed the course. Willie was out touring with his own band some 200 days a year and I was at home honing my craft. Several years and a few albums between us later, we starting the duo, The Waymores. At first, we were just doing it to pay the bills (touring with a full band means paying that full band). We played a few spots around our home town but never had any delusions of grandeur. We released a video of our cover of John Prine’s In Spite of Ourselves and it started getting a lot of attention. It took us on a month-long tour out to Arizona and back and then we just never stopped. Before the pandemic hit, we were touring 200 days a year all over the United States and in Europe and The United Kingdom with no slowdown in site and we loved every minute of it. We’re still holding out hope that we can rebuild what we had.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Touring is definitely not for everyone. There are times we miss our friends and family. There are times when we’re not where we want to be but we believe that if we keep pushing forward and working our tails off, that it’ll pay off. Everyone always asks us if it’s hard to tour with your spouse and shockingly, for us, it’s just not. We’re each other’s best friend so it’s pretty great getting to spend that much time together doing what we were meant to be doing. Sometimes staying home and in one spot is the hard part.

Tell us about The Waymores – what should we know?
We’re an acoustic duo playing Honky-Tonk Americana music all over. We (hope) that we make people feel better through our music. And if you don’t like the music you can stay for the jokes because Willie has an endless supply… Insert Kira’s eyeroll here.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Work Ethic is the absolute most important thing in our industry. We see a lot of musicians playing their same corner bar over and over wondering why they aren’t getting more shows. Most shows don’t just come to your door, you have to work for them then work to keep them. In the chaos of booking shows, servicing shows, getting press for shows and playing shows, you have to find time to write and record music. A lot of people think being a musician is all fun and games…it is! but it’s also a ton of work.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Brian Whitcomb – Eric Oswald – Lindsay Garrett

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