Review: The Waymores Strike Country Gold with Their New Album ‘Stone Sessions’

by Clayton Edwards
review-the-waymores-strike-country-gold-their-new-album-stone-sessions

Country music has a history of great duos like Conway & Loretta, Johnny & June, and Waylon & Jessi. With their new album, Stone Sessions, The Waymores carry that tradition into the 21st century.

The Waymores released their debut EP, Weeds, back in 2019 and Stone Sessions is their first full-length album. However, this is not a new band by any stretch of the imagination. Willie Heath Neal and Kira Annalise met back in 2007 while playing in a band called The No Count Palookas in Georgia. In 2013, Neal and Annalise officially formed their tandem and haven’t looked back since, according to their website.

In this album, though you’re seeing more than the musical partnership between the members of The Waymores. The duo has been a couple for 13 years and their relationship has developed alongside their musical bond. So, when Neal’s baritone intertwines with Annalise’s twangy alto, it feels natural. Because it is.

Sonically, Stone Sessions is pure country. From “Caught,” a mid-tempo cheating song with plenty of fiddle, to the Western Swing feel of “I Don’t Like the Liquor” and rockers like “Road Worn” and “Even When” this record has a little bit of everything. However, the real heart of this album is the chemistry between The Waymores’ vocal duo. Both singers have great voices, but they truly shine when they harmonize.

Stand Out Songs from Stone Sessions

My honest recommendation here would be to put on the new Waymores album and let it play. Stone Sessions lives up to its name in that it is rock solid. There are a few songs that will be on my playlist for the weekend, though.

“Bat Sh*t Crazy” (Kira Annalise, Willie Heath Neal)

The vocal duo at the center of The Waymores sound great together but this album gives them both the opportunity to stand on their own. In what is, without a doubt, my favorite song on the album, Kira Annalise takes the lead and stands, largely, on her own vocally.

There are a million songs about the “crazy ex-girlfriend” but you don’t hear many about the crazy current girlfriend. Songs from the perspective of said girlfriend are even rarer. “Bat Sh*t Crazy” is the only one I think I’ve ever heard. It is, at the same time, hilarious, dark, and relatable.

Lines like “I got pictures of us kissin’, dancin’ barefoot in the kitchen Tuesday night. / By Thursday, in that same kitchen, I’ll cut you with a knife,” show just how wild things can get. However, the chorus, for me, is the best part. “Because I’m crazy. / Bat sh*t crazy. / Lord, I’m crazy / But I’ll always love ya, baby.”  

“Caught” (Dale Watson)

There aren’t enough cheatin’ songs in modern country music. There I said it. “Caught” is a cheating song about, you guessed it, getting caught cheating. That’s something that’s been done before. This one stands out because it’s from the perspective of the pair of paramours. The chorus shows them accepting their fate and responsibility.

Caught in a camera’s eye. / Caught without an alibi. / A picture’s worth a thousand words they say. / We’re caught in a motel room. / Tangled sheets smell like sweet perfume. / No matter who’s at fault / We’re caught.”

“I Don’t Like the Liquor” (Anders Thomson)

“I Don’t Like the Liquor” is a Western Swing-flavored tune about indulging – or overindulging – in a series of vices. The lyrics are clever and make me smile and the instrumentation makes me want to move my feet. Sometimes, that’s all I need out of a song. The fact that it feels like a Texas-size hat tip to the late great Bob Wills makes it that much better.

Final Verdict on The Waymores’ Debut Full-Length Album

The Waymores knocked it out of the park with this album. They call their sound “Honky tonk Americana” but to my ears, it sounds like damn good country music. If you’re looking for new music but want some good traditional-sounding country, give Stone Sessions a spin. You won’t regret it.  

Outsider.com