Tons of good music has come out of the Appalachian area lately.
Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, to name a few, all hail from this region. For lack of a better term, I’ve been referring to music from this region as Appalachian country. This is not an effort to encompass these artists into a specific subgenre of country music. But instead to refer to a loose scene of great music with pretty conspicuous roots in the rural, blue collar Appalachian region, whether that be in the sound or in the lyrics.
Lesser known artists like Charles Wesley Godwin are emerging from this area as well, but perhaps one of the best emerging acts in country music right now is 49 Winchester. Originating from Russell County, Virginia, 49 Winchester has released three albums since 2014, including their most recent release III.
And when I tell you this album is good, that’s an understatement. It might be one of the best of 2020 so far.
Here are five great songs everyone should know by the up and coming band.
My favorite one off of their 2014 self-titled first album 49 Winchester. “Michigan” is a bitter song about an old flame finding a new man.
“So if I’m ever in Michigan I hope I’ll see you around Bet I’ll meet you by the lighthouse on the outskirts of town And if the sun sets on Lake Huron, oh I’ll be Virginia bound Yeah I hope he breaks your heart Yeah I hope he breaks your heart”
Can’t say I’ve ever heard of Hays, Kansas is, but I think that’s the point of this song about escaping struggles and getting out of a hometown.
“Well I wanna do good, I’m sick of doin’ bad I wanna have all the things that you’ve bad Honey like an inability to feel the way that I do Well I wanna get out of bed on the right foot for a change I wanna be able to act my own age But the liquor keeps throwing a wrench into things”
Life on the road is tough for any musician, and who doesn’t love a George Jones shout out? Also, songs that start out with a piano are just different. That’s a fact.
“Thank God the jukebox had George Jones You wouldn’t have known all the words, it would’ve left you there all alone ‘Cause you look like some trouble wearin’ red And I ain’t the kinda man that needs that runnin’ through his head”
While I wouldn’t say this song is a happy one, it does talk about finding love for the long haul. Let’s face it, most good country music is sad, but I think people like it that way.
“When I get stoned and I feel rejected Weary from the road and half beaten down You come off of your throne and I feel protected Oh and even from the bottom of a bottle I know you won’t let me drown”
Off of their second album The Wind, “Veruca Salt” is my favorite 49 Winchester song. Veruca Salt is the name of one of the main girls in the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The character is spoiled and manipulative, much like the girl in this song about getting over an ex.
Gibson’s powerful vocals are unbeatable in this one too.
“Well I guess I stand corrected on the topic of despair Well I must’ve been mistaking it for the smell of your fresh air I must’ve thought wrong when I said that you’re holier now That attitude was just quite rude and you should come down off of your cloud”
49 Winchester has a pretty deep catalogue of good songs, so these five are just the beginning. Y’all should get on these guys now, if you aren’t already.
Honorable Mention – “So Damn Sweet”
This is a timely one if you’re a baseball fan, or more specifically a Braves fan.
“She ain’t the world’s biggest Braves fan, but let’s me watch ‘em anyway”