Willow Way
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Willow Way

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Indie

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jun
25
Willow Way @ VZD's

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Jun
18
Willow Way @ American Banjo Museum

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Feb
06
Willow Way @ The Paramount

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"The Drop: Willow Way - "Weary""

Never the ones to sit around and rest on past success, the sisters of Willow Way have been hard at work. If their new song “Weary” is any indication of things to come, it looks as though we as fans have much to be excited about. Jennifer and Melanie were kind of enough to take time out of their schedules to give us a little background on their new song “Weary”.

"This song lies somewhere in the middle of feeling frustration and hope. I think everyone has those moments when they’re just flat out disappointed with the world, that feeling of brokenness. And we can sometimes settle for less in our lives because of fear, exhaustion or complacency. But then there is this undeniable beauty, passion and aliveness in our world—a counteraction to the brokenness that we can encompass within ourselves, bringing an upbeat, sense of hope. We don’t have to sit around and wait for good things to happen, we can MAKE good things happen. It’s just a matter of integrating goodness into our souls, behaviors, and actions."



Jenn: I can’t take much credit for this one, Melanie brought the lyrics to the table and together she and Dustin wrote the music. Lyrically, it makes so much sense from her because she’s like this sponge that absorbs her surroundings. She wrote it during a time she was feeling pretty overwhelmed with the violence and chaos going on in the world. But she has this loving spirit that can’t help but shed a light of hopefulness—no matter how disappointed she feels, she still embodies those little beams of sunlight shining through the cracks. It’s in her nature, and I love how this song reflects her sense of optimism, even if it’s not fully intentional.

Mel: This was really my first song to collaborate musically with someone else. Jenn and I have worked together lyrically on other songs, but I’ve always had a basic guitar melody already prepared. This song came together very organically and I was really happy with the way it all turned out. Dustin and I worked really well together; Jenn and Kyle Mayfield were the other added parts to make the whole thing come together, I couldn’t be happier. - Naked City OKC


"Willow Way Video Interview"

In the Blanket Fort Studio, Uncovering Oklahoma Weekly interviews the sister singer-songwriter band, Willow Way. You know who hasn’t interviewed a guest in a Blanket Fort? Stephen Colbert. Just saying. Willow Way also performs their latest single, “Weary,” in the Blanket Fort! - Uncovering Oklahoma


""Entertainment Highlights in and around Oklahoma City""

"Entertainment Highlights in and around Oklahoma City" Oklahoma music promotion company Cellar Door Music Group presents Pageant with Dylan Stewart & the Eulogists and Willow Way at the Blue Note - NewsOK


"Willow Way’s Chasing Ghosts"

Sister singer-songwriters, Willow Way, bring their indie-folk/Americana songs together with their EP album, Chasing Ghosts. Answering the questions about their music (and actual ghosting hunting) for this Tuesday Treat interview is Jennifer Maynord.

For those unfamiliar with Willow Way, talk a bit about yourself and your music.
“Although we have been singing together most of our lives, this is our first project we aimed to do professionally.”We are sister singer-songwriters who began our indie-folk/Americana band Willow Way in 2014. Although we have been singing together most of our lives, this is our first project we aimed to do professionally. We really love being a part of the Oklahoma music scene–it feels like we are among really supportive, creative people and spaces. Most everything we do is really family-oriented my (Jenn’s) husband plays the guitar in our band and produces/records our music. Our family and close friends are always a part of our shows and create a major support circle for us. It’s a really amazing feeling.

What inspired the album, Chasing Ghosts, and its songs?
The song “Chasing Ghosts” is about finding lost family, which so many families have gone through. It can be a roller coaster of emotions to connect with relatives you discover later in life, the song is about processing those feelings. In our case, one of our family members passed away six years before we found out about her, so getting to know her has felt a bit like chasing a ghost. In addition to that, all of our songs on the album are about relationships–whether it’s a relationship to a substance, a person, a situation, or a story. I think the songs take a listener through different relational perspectives. - Uncovering Oklahoma


""What to do in Oklahoma on April 3, 2015: Check out the Willow Way album release show at The Paramount""

"What to do in Oklahoma on April 3, 2015: Check out the Willow Way album release show at The Paramount" - BAM's Blog | Brandy McDonnel, Entertainment Writer for NewsOK (2015) - Brandy McDonnell - NewsOK


"Music Interview with Indie Folk Band, Willow Way"

Relatively new in the indie music scene the Oklahoma City based sisters, Jennifer Maynord (Guitarist, Vocalist) and Melanie Schmidt (Guitarist, Vocalist), passionately formed their indie-folk band, Willow Way. Their new musical adventure started in January 2014 where the duo siblings began to share their talents to the masses. The sisters, who are co-writing, sharing lead vocals, playing guitar, mandolin and banjo, eagerly begin to tap into their local music scene as the talented duo performed at popular venues around the city.

The sisters decided to add to their roster Shelby Herald (violinist), Dustin Maynord (guitar), and Marc Herald (percussionist) who compliment the wonderfully crafted eeriness of the band’s sound. It is their picturesque storytelling lyrics blended with a touch of Folk and Singer/Songwriter style that sets them apart from the rest of the indie musicians. If one wants to hear something raw, yet warm, laced with melodic undertones, then this is the band for you. Here is what transpired from our recent conversation with members Jennifer Maynord (Guitarist, Vocalist) and Melanie Schmidt (Guitarist, Vocalist). Enjoy!

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

Jenn: Since Willow Way just formed this past year, it has been a process in finding our sound. We have been described as “comfortably eerie”, “tall, bold, grassy”.

Isaac: I would totally agree.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Jenn: Mine personally growing up have been Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Ben Harper, Nina Simone. I would say most recently for Willow Way, we have really looked to First Aid Kit, Shovels & Rope, and The Civil Wars as musical role models.

Mel: I agree with Jenn on who I listened to growing up. Being sisters, we tend to listen to a lot of the same sounds. However, recently I’ve pulled a lot of my recent writing influences from very heavy harmony bands like The Civil Wars, Air Loom, You+Me, and The Secret Sisters.

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Willow Way
Photo Courtesy of Willow Way

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Jenn: I’m crazy about all of the songs my sister has written, she just keeps creating compelling music. But I think one of my favorites we wrote/sing together is “All For Her”. It was challenging because we wanted to write for the kidnapped Chibok girls and for their parents and families. But we also wanted to write for my daughter, and our nieces too—for girls & women across the world, to share words of empowerment. Since we were speaking to people in different countries and circumstances, we tried to be very mindful of the words we chose and how we wanted to send our support and care. Mel and I took a weekend at the lake to finish it, I get emotional every time we perform this song.

Mel: It’s so hard to pick one. I think one of my favorites to sing is “And Then She Was Gone”. I love the harmonies we have in the song and I always find myself moving to it while I’m up on stage. I feel like it’s one of our smoother sounding songs that just captivates you, makes you close your eyes and sense all the elements of the music.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Jenn: We are both biased towards some of our AMAZING Oklahoma artists. We have so much talent within our city and a really supportive, authentic music scene. There are some incredible female artists, who are on my playlist, and who have paved the way for other local bands/artists: Samantha Crain, Sherree Chamberlain, Ali Harter. Some of our upcoming artists that I love listening to are Feathered Rabbit, Allie Lauren and The Wurly Birds.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Jenn: My favorite thing about the writing process is seeing how my writing grows with me. When I was younger, I would write about boyfriends and heartbreaks, because that’s what I was navigating at the time. Into adulthood, I’ve felt compelled to tell other people’s stories, write about world issues, the journey of marriage, and my daughter. Also, co-writing with Mel has been a new process since we’ve started Willow Way. We make a good team–sometimes we just send things over to one another, and then other times we sit in the living room with a bottle of wine and get enthusiastic as we build a song. It’s the best sister bonding time ever.

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Willow Way
Photo Courtesy of Willow Way

Mel: The writing process is new to me, so I draw inspiration from various settings that aren’t always necessarily mine. There will always be past relationships or experiences that are easy to bring into a song, however, I have really tried to challenge myself to dig deeper into making a song a relatable piece. When writing, I put myself in the position of the person in the song or situation; pulling from those emotions that they might feel. Researching within myself as well as feeling educated about different topics helps me validate when I write. “Bonnie” is one of the favorite songs I’ve written because I enjoyed investigating the lives of Bonnie and Clyde. Seeing the words of their past come to life and then completing it with the music is a really neat feeling.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Jenn: Ben Harper, hands down.

Mel: Probably First Aid Kit. Seeing what this female duo has been accomplishing has really become an inspiration for my sister and I.

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Jenn: Snuggling with my two-year-old, taking her to the Bookstore or the Zoo. Going on dates with my husband, enjoying some good wine and fresh food. Getting together with our family and friends, seeing live music around our city.

Mel: I’m a newlywed, so building this life with my husband is always an adventure. I enjoy trying a new restaurant, getting together with family/friends and of course attending a great OKC Thunder game when I can!

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

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Willow Way
Photo Courtesy of Willow Way

Jenn: Yoga. Sweat Pants. Hot tea/coffee. Essential Oils. Comfortable Shoes.

Mel: My puppies. Guitar. Cell phone. Essential Oils. Comfy clothes.

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

Jenn: I wish we had a really entertaining story for everyone! The truth is, we have not yet officially toured as Wilow Way; our most significant time on the road was when we traveled to Gatlinburg, TN to perform at the Smoky Mountain Songwriter Festival. The free moonshine could have gotten us into a lot of trouble…but thankfully we kept our heads on straight.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Jenn: The free moonshine? Most definitely.

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Jenn: I am actually also a Yoga As Therapy Instructor, and that is my second passion. Although I’ve had to scale back for music and motherhood, it is a profession I continue to build on throughout the years. If we hit a point where I am devoting less time to music, I would focus more on teaching and training.

Mel: I wish I had a better answer for this, however I feel like I’m still figuring out my place in the professional field. Being a year out of college, I’m currently working in the executive world, even though I graduated with a Child Development degree. I believe I would circle back around and really focus on non-profit organizations around our community, if the opportunity presented itself. My heart has always been there and I feel in the future I can eventually put more time into volunteering if not working with children again.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Jenn: I am constantly gaining new perspective and advice, I even keep a notepad of quotes and phrases that inspire me. But something that has come to me lately, and truly pertains to our music, is “create without expectation.” As an artist, I write, perform, and sing because it is an important part of my own self-expression. It is my outlet and therapy. But it’s easy to get wrapped up in how others will receive our music, schedules and agendas…I have to remind myself to re-prioritize and step out of those things. As an artist, it has been about making authentic music and detaching from the outcomes. But I won’t deny that my heart indeed fluttered when I got our acceptance email from Junior’s Cave Online Magazine. (-:

Isaac: :-)

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Jenn: A Mom. A Wife. An Artist. A Yogi. A Sister.

Mel: Hopefully, a mom. While still being a wife, sister, daughter, and an artist :)

Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Jenn: When we first started performing as Willow Way, Melanie and I had an acoustic show at one of our local coffee shops. It was the first show my daughter attended, and she was about a year ½ old. She sat on my grandmother’s lap through the entire set and clapped and cheered so loudly after each song. That was a proud moment for me, and a reminder why I do music. Not only for my own self-expression, but to model the pursuit of passion for my own daughter. I want her to know that she can follow any dream or goal imaginable.

Mel: It’s hard to pick one, but I think it’s always a memorable moment when we get to perform a new song. I remember the first time we sang “All For Her” live; it was a very empowering feeling with such a personal and yet emotional song. Sharing our music with people and making that connection is very important for me. My hope is that we will make people stop and listen to the words that we write, and make an impact on some aspect of their life.

Official Website:
http://www.willowway.net/

Official Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/willowwaymusic

Official Twitter:
https://twitter.com/WillowWayMusic - Junior’s Cave


"WILLOW WAY on my busiest Day"

Reverbnation provides us with a fresh pile of their best emerging artists every month and as I slowly sip my morning cappuccinos, I review them. Not a bad job right? It’s not easy being consistent though.. some days even a music junkie wants quiet or is too busy or has a bad cold. Regardless, I also make time to commit to getting every one heard and eventually – every one chosen blogged about.

WILLOW WAY, was one of those bands that I listened to during a very busy period. In fact I remember the exact day. It was a chilly October day, and I was feeling Summer’s gold turn into blue winds. I had a business call before I could even have a coffee, but I wanted to see what was in my Reverb box! That is when I heard “Vices” by Willow Way. A simple song with powerful lyrics and soft duet-perfect vocals. I wanted to hear more stories, more mandolin cries and banjo punches and get another dose of soulful sisters audio, but I had to enter one of those days where time disrespects you and you feel that you are behind before you even wake up. As I went on with that day, letting my dog walk himself in the lot while I called an employee and snacking in the taxi shortly after; I thought of WILLOW WAY and how I’d rather be in Oklahoma or any southern State that is described as having little mountain ranges, prairies and hot sun. I always research the cities from the musicians I listen to.

A lover of new lands and people I enjoy seeing how someone’s geography has shaped their musical stylings. In WILLOW WAY the influence is clear. There is a bold tall grassy and very American feel to the music with a little exotic, native indian, world beat in the instrument choices and song structure. There is something repetitive and tribal and very campfire-gathering about the choruses. Amazingly, they are a little known band. A rare little audio gem worth discovering and I hope I have helped get them out there a little more. - BandMark


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Willow Way are an indie-folk rock/Americana band fronted by sister singer-songwriters, Melanie Schmidt & Jennifer Maynord.  Their vocal harmonies and folk-influenced songwriting derive from influences such as First Aid Kit and The Civil Wars.  Originally from Edmond, Oklahoma, the sisters grew up composing songs & playing at local events within the Edmond/Oklahoma City area.  Melanie plays acoustic guitar while Jennifer rotates between keyboard and percussion.  

Willow Way currently plays as a 5-piece band that includes Dustin Maynord, Kyle Mayfield and James Dixon.  Kyle plays the drums, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass and began performing regularly with the girls in 2015 along with Dustin who plays acoustic & electric guitar.  James joined them on electric bass in late Spring of 2016.  The group released their first E.P. Chasing Ghosts in 2015 followed by a single, “Weary,” a few months after.  A second single and music video, "Stand Still" was released in June 2016, with their 2017 single, "Circus," making a New Year's Day debut.  Willow Way is currently working on a full-length album at Lunar Manor Recording Studio (OKC) with plans for a 2017 release.

 
They have performed at numerous venues and festivals including Gatlinburg's Smoky Mountain Songwriter Festival, The Rise and Shine Show (Freedom 43 TV), Backwoods Music Festival, Living Oklahoma (Fox 25 TV), The Tasting Notes (SPY Radio), Oklahoma Rock Show (SPY Radio), Paseo Arts Festival, West Fest, OKC Festival of the Arts, Edmond Arts Festival, Peace Love and Goodwill Festival and popular OKC music hubs such as VZD's, The Blue Note, Will Rogers' Theatre and more.
 
These Oklahoma natives are grateful for their opportunities to perform together, and they look forward to growing in their music as a means to connect with themselves & others, while contributing to their much-loved Oklahoma music community.

Band Members