The Waymores Planned Some Singles With Shel Talmy And Found Themselves In ‘Greener Pastures’

[Cover photo credit to Lindsay Garrett]

Americana duo The Waymores have announced their third studio album, Greener Pastures, for release on August 25th, 2023, Produced by Shel Talmy. Their first single from the album, “You Got Gold” is out now. The story of how The Waymores came to work with Shel Talmy is a big part of how the album came about as a 10-song collection.

When the duo heard that Producer Shel Talmy wanted to work with them, they thought it was a red herring, but it turned out that word about the group’s sophomore album Stone Sessions had spread across the country from Atlanta to Los Angeles where actor and restaurateur Harry Zinn shared the songs with his good friend Shel. 

Talmy is a record Producer, songwriter and arranger best known for his 1960’s work with The Who, The Kinks, David Bowie and many others. Quickly after an introductory email, Talmy sent Willie Neal and Kira Annalise a list of old country tunes stating that “none of these have been recorded in at least 40 years” and that “a new recording of any of them would be well received.”

Neal shares:

We wanted to choose all of the songs he sent, honestly but we knew our time and budget would be limited so we picked two with the thought that we could put out a 45. Even though we’d spoken to him on the phone and were emailing ideas back and forth, it was still very hard for us to believe that this was actually happening.

The band actually booked themselves a tour to get themselves from Georgia to California in mid-June to record, hitting Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona along the way. The Waymores spent two days at Schell’s studio recording Marty Robbins’ “Don’t Worry” and Buck Owens’ “Under Your Spell.”

Then 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.

They went home and immediately began writing, including calling on friends to help. They wanted to create an entire album in the vein of the covers they had recorded.

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 100;s of others), 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).

All 10 tracks were recorded live, which was a first for The Waymores but as they state, “It will be the standard from here on out.”

Annalise notes:

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.