The Womacks
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The Womacks

Monroeville, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Monroeville, Ohio, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Rock




"The Womack Family Band: Blue Room (album review)"

"...incredibly talented...The group's live shows have the potential to become the stuff of legend, ranging freely from dreamy jazz riffs to sunny 60’s pop rock hooks to Hendrix-like jamming maelstroms that transition from blues to otherworldly psychedelia and suddenly form into a thunderous and rock-solid interpretation of a Pink Floyd classic. One never knows quite what to expect, and that makes every musical turn as fresh and thrilling as the next. Their signature three-part harmonies are as tight as a nun’s nether regions and their multi-instrumental prowess—especially that of Tony Schaffer—would be impressive in a group of players three times their age. In fact, if I were a betting man (which luckily I am), I would say that there is no Greater Cleveland area band more likely to break through to the top tier of the music industry than these guys. Listening to them, it’s hard not to think you’re hearing the next Avett Brothers or Mumford & Sons, even with popular music’s notoriously fickle nature and the difficulty of any Americana group to break into the charts, no matter their stylistic stripes." - No Surf Music

"Review: From Chestnut"

The Womack Family Band (WFB) has revived the spirit of vintage Rock music and
introduced it to the grandchildren of Jazz and Folk music, and they all got together and
put together an album of multi-genre songs. While the band-mates are not blood
relatives, WFB seem to have a family type cohesiveness that comes through on their EP,
FROM CHESTNUT, giving the impression that they've been together their whole lives.

"Sugar Honey" is my favorite tune on WFB's EP because of the jazzy sound it has to
start, and then it ends with a big Folk/Americana sound. This song proves my point about
the musical togetherness of WFB and how their experience comes through in the music.
The vocal arrangements are awesome and the musicianship is top of the line. I'd
recommend everyone reading this review to check Sugar Honey out, I think you'll be
pleasantly surprised like I was.

In addition to Sugar Honey, FROM CHESTNUT offers more listening pleasure, thanks to
songs like: "Sara", "Down The Line", and "Nothing".

Overall, these guys are well worth spending the time listening to, and in my opinion, worth
spending a few bucks to support. Check'em out, I'm sure you'll agree. - I Am Entertainment Magazine

"Pure and True"

The Womack Family Band’s honest and organic approach proves American roots music is alive and well.

The first rule of the Womack Family Band is written in faded red letters on a dry-erase board in the kitchen of the Norwalk, Ohio, house that serves as the band’s headquarters.

“Our lives are intertwined. One’s destiny is another’s. Always be mindful of the NOW and how it plays a significant role in the future of us all.”

It’s been there since the band formed about two years ago and has been joined by one other Womack rule: “Never stop learning.”

It’s the first rule, though, that gets to the heart of what this band, comprising Tony Schaffer, Cory Webb, and brother-and-sister pair Noah and Haley Heyman, is all about. The group’s sound is a deft mix of American roots, folk and rock influences, and everyone does a little bit of everything, from writing songs to singing lead to playing the dozens of instruments that appear on the band’s self-titled debut album.

“We’re really fortunate that we didn’t have to go off to Cleveland or Columbus to find a band,” Schaffer says. “We’ve had all this intermingling, which has been really fortunate for us. There was this magnetism that just sort of happened and brought us all to this one place.”

The group has been helped by Chris Castle, a singer-songwriter who spent his teenage years writing country songs in Nashville before coming home to Ohio, where he has become a mentor to many young musical acts trying to get a foothold in the roots music scene.

Last fall, the Womack Family Band teamed with Castle for his Drenched Earth Tour, which visits the Winchester Tavern and Music Hall in Lakewood on Feb. 18. Each show features the members of the Womack Family Band performing with one another and alongside Castle.

Schaffer previously toured with Castle in 2008 and returned home inspired to form his own band. He had been playing with Noah at a bar in Norwalk before adding Webb, who was a bartender there, on drums and Haley on vocals.

A little coercion from Castle pushed the group — named after American folk guru Tommy Womack — to make a demo recording, which Castle loved. It was honest, organic music that strived to be artistic. That, says Schaffer, is what the tour is about, too.

“There is no, Excuse us while we play our great music,” Schaffer says. “It was sort of, Let’s just sort of give them music. It’s the same thing as when you look on a jar of organic peanut butter and you look at the ingredients list and it says ‘peanuts.’ If you look at the ingredients on our CD, it would just say ‘music.’ ”

*Article by Matt Tullis - Cleveland Magazine

"The Womack Family Band's Debut Album"

The eponymous debut from the Womack Family Band hits your ears with more impact than mere sound waves. It’s a genuine album of dreaming, sincerity, and most blatantly – talent. A blend of Americana and folk, the Womack Family Band offers more than typical instrumental choices. The quintet from North Central Ohio released the album in September of 2010 and has already toured the US in support of it via the Drenched Earth tour with Chris Castle. If you are only learning of them now, don’t feel it is ill-timed – they’ll be in Wadsworth this Thu 5/5 at Sonnets Café.

Delving into the source of their tight tunes, you will find three main elements: instrument variation, lyrics, and consistent talent among the members. Instruments range from guitar and drum to trumpet, euphonium, trombone and – a rarity among bands – clarinet. I may have only listed half of the instruments used. The sound has a distinct Americana feel – sticking to the roots of music and keeping it in its earthy, organic state.

Lyrically, it is difficult to listen to the album and still think you are in the year 2011. “That’s when I got to ponderin’ about the money I been squanderin’, bout the people I been cheatin’ and the women I been beatin’ on; no I never gave a damn about nothin’ till I met you.” Even if you remember the current time and setting, you’re picturing porches in sepia. The first words of the album set the mood: “Mama let the tap run on a steady drip, Papa took his shoes off and chewed upon his lip and said I’m not gonna last, all good things have passed. Life for me has come and gone.” The album has 15 distinct songs, compiled by the three songwriters in the band, a quality not many bands can boast. Noah and Haley Heyman – the only blood relations in the band – and Tony Schaffer write songs that will take you to the riverside. Cory Webb holds the songs together on drum with Kevin Obermeyer bringing in the brass section.

It is rare to find a musical act in which each member is equally talented. Song to song, members pass the torch, share the torch, and start bonfires. It is a beautifully crafted album with different vocals on each song and splashes of soul and blues throughout. The vocals easily blend together, creating spot-on harmonies. Check out “Sysiphus’ Stone” – two minutes and ten seconds in you will know what I’m talking about.

Having caught a show on their recent Drenched Earth tour with Chris Castle, I am advising you to look at their tour schedule and find one that meets your schedule. It is a night of music absorption. Again, it is amazing to watch each member head a different song, each at a consistent level.

*Article by Laurie Wanninger - Cool Cleveland Magazine

"The Womack Family Band"

A tour came through town, the Drenched Earth Tour, comprised of singer songwriter Chris Castle along with The Womack Family Band. See an earlier post for Chris Castle for more on the tour.

The Womack Family Band appeared on WDVX radio’s Blue Plate Special, Chris did a couple of songs, then members of the Womack Family Band joined him on stage. Their music was so sweet and pure, a treat to listen to, it was like pouring honey into your ears. They play with precision, and every moment was filled with nuance, something that’s sadly lost in so much of today’s music. The harmonies were incredibly tight, and honestly, it sounded so good I kept getting goose bumps on my arms as I listened.They’re musician’s musicians, they’re just so clean and tight it’s crazy.

The band members are cool, they hand off instruments to each other, they’re able to swap things around with ease. One of the members, Tony, is sort of like me, he can pick up almost any musical instrument, figure out where the notes are, and just plays the thing. He’s well versed, a guy with a music background, surely schooled on the roots and foundation of music. I would love to hang out with him sometime- talking with him, I discovered he hears and feels music in ways similar to the way I do, which trust me, doesn’t happen very often. I was talking about how some music is minimal, where the musician plays a framework, and your mind fills in the missing pieces. I said it’s an audio version of a painting style, where you paint a rough outline, and your eye fills in the details. And he grinned, he totally gets it. What a treat.

The other three members on tour- I really didn’t get much of a chance to talk with them, but they’re all a great bunch of people, and I’m really looking forward to catching them again if they come through town on tour. Hit their website, take a listen, and order their CD or pick it up on iTunes. Here’s their Main Website and their Myspace page where you can listen to some of their music.

- Steven Lareau

"Parts of the Womack Family Band"

SANDUSKY, OH – If you’re in Ohio and looking to rust exit the rail cart for a full on double complete rainbow — now is the time — we have The Womack Family Band and Chris Castle out of Norwalk, OH, performing throughout October for The Drenched Earth Tour. Once known to house a group of bitter Torie exploits before the War of 1812, Norwalk has cured itself of a bicentennial suffrage inventing the Castle and Womack chariot. The Erie Wire caught a glimpse of three Womack members last month in a fire lit shanty and disco; that rare encounter is video previewed for this post.

The world has taken notice of Chris and the Womack’s — Excerpt from Folk Alley Review:

The Womack Family Band consists of five people, raised up in the sleepy towns of northern Ohio, who decided to lock themselves away in a house with nothing but recording gear, a multitude of instruments, twenty pounds of coffee, and five heads full of ideas. The result of all this madness was their self-titled debut album, which is availiable now on Itunes, Amazon, and Rhapsody. Physical copies will be availiable starting September 15th.

Folk Alley is referring to a primordial emergence, lead by a broken “cotton leather pouch bucket” guitarist — that’s folk for genius — and five Norwalkian friends straight out of the river.

Chris Castle and The Womack Family Band play October 2nd at the Water Street Bar and Grille (9pm) in downtown Sandusky. For information on The Drenched Earth Tour »

- The Erie Wire

"In Tune"

Like a great big front-porch jam, the Womack Family Band's 15-song debut is wonderfully laid-back. Packed with spot-on harmonies, the quintet from Norwalk, Ohio, showcases the power of American folk in standouts such as "Desvelo" and "When the Winter Breaks."

- Cleveland Magazine

"A New Road for the Womacks"

Buyer, beware the record debut from the Womack Family Band is not your average listening experience, and their talent isn't second string. For those who love the distinctive Womack touches of their traditional cover sets, like big instruments and gorgeous harmonies, you won't be disappointed. But don't think for a second that the album's sound is ripped directly from their cover list.

With a distinctive lineup including Tony Schaffer, Haley Heyman, Noah Heyman, and Cory Webb, it's no surprise that this four piece band felt the need to creat something original.

"We wanted to make our own music,” said Schaffer. “We wanted that sense of pride that comes with playing your own.” While the album undoubtedly has its feet planted in roots, folk and Americana music, the classification shouldn’t lead you to pigeonhole them. The whispers of influence that you hear span centuries, including rock, blues and even classical music.

Perhaps one of the most striking features about the finished project is its unified sound — the record should be listened to from start to finish. “It should wash over the listener,” said Haley.

“When you think of a classical piece, it’s essentially a record of time, a record of events, a linear event,” said Schaffer. “Every moment of it counts. A symphony is a collection of pieces, almost like an album. Those pieces can be seen as individual songs. There are all of these different parts, but in the end, it’s still one thing.”
This idea of collectiveness is a belief firmly held by all the Womacks, but that doesn’t mean that every song will sound the same. You’ll hear a range of hushed, lullaby-like sounds to a raucous, heel-kicking, energy driven folk reminiscent of The Avett Brothers.

Then there’s the deeply moving “Sysiphus’ Stone,” beginning with a haunting solo voice, gothic lyrics and stripped-to-the-bone chords that soar into some of the most powerful harmonic arrangements on the album.

“There was a creative desire there,” said Noah. “We didn’t just want to release a record. We wanted to release something that mattered.”

The band started recording at the end of last summer. With winter coming, Schaffer said, they knew they’d be able to lock themselves away and focus on it. It took about a year, and they started with close to 20 songs, eventually narrowing it down to 12.

They put together their home studio with mostly secondhand equipment that they purchased using the “band fund” they earned playing cover gigs.
While the Womacks are self-schooled in many respects, they’ve certainly benefited from mentor Chris Castle’s years of DIY expertise. “There’s no magic to it,” Castle said, just lots of hard work. “Everyone wants to start by making the best record. These guys were sensible enough to know that they needed to work with what they have.”

But most bands aren’t aware of the necessary avenues and lack the knowledge to do it.

“People don’t know how much goes into it — the website, booking, business and landing with rows of HTML coding,” he said with a laugh. “But because the business has changed so much, you can do it.”

Thanks to technology, the Womacks have found that they can do the majority of the work from home. They researched potential touring regions online, used e-mail and phone calls to network and check into venues, worked with talented friends who do video and high-resolution photography and created their own album artwork. “All of these things show that we take it seriously,” said Noah.

And despite being a group of self-described recluses who spent nearly a year holed up in a house recording their album, it sounds like technology has been good to them. They were spotlighted on as “Artist of the Month,” have an upcoming TV appearance on “Good Company Today” (NBC) and have snagged radio spots throughout New England. Oh, and did we mention the huge, awesome tour they’re about to launch?

The Drenched Earth Tour, a joint project with Castle, kicks off at 8 p.m. September 15 at The Winchester in Lakewood. But the term “tour” might be a bit lighthearted for this massive undertaking, which plays out as a musical theatre production that runs nearly two hours.

The idea came from Bob Dylan and The Band’s “Before the Flood” tour in 1974, which Castle described as the idea of a songwriter working with a band toward a common goal. “It was almost a prophesy, and so we started thinking about this flood of noise,” he said. “We’ve been flooded for 30 to 40 years. That’s where the name came from — we wanted to talk about the state of things.”

“It’s pretty socially oriented,” said Castle, mentioning that the driving idea of folk music is to provide a commentary on the current times. “At the beginning of each show, we’ll be handing out a program that explains these concepts.”
In terms of how the lengthy “music theatre” production works, both Castle and the Womacks agreed that it didn’t make sense for one to open for the other. So they mer - Funcoast Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



For complete concert schedule visit:

The Womacks have a distinct fingerprint. Their hand crafted original music has taken listeners from all over the east coast through an amazing array of styles and dynamics, while keeping something clearly “Womack” about it all. From rock, jazz, blues, folk, the Womacks seem to touch on every aspect of classic American music, but with a freshness that’s as exciting as it is familiar. The four-piece isn’t just another rock band fronted by one personality; all four members write and contribute to the song catalogue, a process they've streamlined by living together in the same house. For five years the Womack’s have amazed audiences of all ages, with more and more fans appearing at each show. The band will release their 4th studio recording in 2014 with plans to tour throughout the north and south east. 

The Womacks have had the joy of opening for and sharing stages with artists like: Crosby, Stills, and Nash, David Wax Museum, the Ragbirds, Shivering Timbers, Angela Perley & The Howlin' Moons, Bethesda, Driftwood, Yarn, The Lighthouse and the Whaler and many more.


"The groups live shows have the potential to become the stuff of legend ...there is no Greater Cleveland area band more likely to break through to the top tier of the music industry than these guys. Listening to them, its hard not to think youre hearing the next Avett Brothers or Mumford & Sons
-Jason D. Hamad, No Surf Music

"The Womack Family Band (WFB) has revived the spirit of vintage Rock music and introduced it to the grandchildren of Jazz and Folk music..." 
- IAE Magazine

"...the arrangements are dynamic, with instrumentation that invigorates and adds colorful flourish to songs built on a melodious folk foundation; the harmonies swell and captivate..." 
- Ivan Sheehan, Ohio Authority

"The Womack Family Band's honest and organic approach proves American roots music is alive and well.....a deft mix of American roots, folk, and rock influences..." 
- Matt Tullis, Cleveland Magazine

"The sound has a distinct Americana feel sticking to the roots of music and keeping it in its earthy, organic state." 
- Laurie Wanninger,

On (the song) Blue, singer Haley Heyman croons a soulful yarn that will have you thinking youre back in the early 20th century, working on a smoky glass of bourbon. "A Silver Line of Piece" is one of the shining gems of the album, dishing up a sprightly melody thats fit for any kind of listening. Take a stroll, get in the car: albums like this work well anywhere. Hitting on a number of styles throughout the album, the band deftly weaves between the contemplative and the upbeat. 
- Eric Sandy, Sun News


Band Members