I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 49 Winchester is one of the greatest up and coming country music acts out there right now.
Blending country, rock, soul, and blues into a brilliant, genre bending sound, the Castlewood, Virginia, band formed when a few of the members were still in high school, and now they are finally gaining momentum quickly on the music scene.
With three albums, including 2020’s III, 49 Winchester has a growing catalog of songs in which lead singer Isaac Gibson’s songwriting and the band’s unique Appalachian sound are on full display.
Finally starting to receive some of the recognition they deserve, 49 Winchester was named the “On The Rise” artist of 2021 at this year’s FloydFest and earlier this month they solidified themselves as a fan favorite at the star-studded Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion.
It’s no surprise these guys are becoming fan favorites everywhere they play either. Not only is their music top-tier, but their live stage presence keeps fans engaged and wishing their shows would never end. In my experience, the boys always stick around once they are done playing to interact with their fans, which further validates their down-to-earth vibe that can be hard to come by nowadays.
If you’re not familiar with 49 Winchester yet, that’s a shame, but let this be your introduction.
Buy stock early, because these guys are bound to blow up.
10. “Never Again” – 49 Winchester (2014)
9. “The Road Home” – III (2020)
8. “Raleigh” – III (2020)
“And I know your heart is hurtin’ and I know your back is too And I know you’re almost certain that I’m no good for you But just give me a shot, honey give me a chance I’ll make you laugh, I’ll make you dance
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.”
7. “It’s a Shame” – III (2020)
6. “Michigan” – 49 Winchester (2014)
“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.”
5. “Everlasting Lover” – III (2020)
“Everlasting lover, got a lot I wanna say to you You make me feel less lonesome than I ever used to Everlasting lover, honey it ain’t that I want to But sometimes the pain takes over and I just slip through
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”
4. “So Damn Sweet” – The Wind (2018)
3. “Long Hard Life” – III (2020)
“Well I ain’t hurt nobody & ain’t nobody hurt me Until the lawman finds my house & hangs me from a tree For what I’ve done, baby it’s a long hard life And all I got to show is 13 acres of property, 3 dogs, 2 kids, & 1 wife
Well who’s gonna raise my ‘baccer, who’s gonna tend my corn? Cause I’ll be lyin’ in my cell & my wife ain’t been the same since the kids were born Baby it’s a long hard life All I got to show is 13 acres of property, 3 dogs, 2 kids, & 1 wife”
2. “Hays, Kansas” – III (2020)
The band’s third album, conveniently titled III, was one of the best albums of 2020, and “Hays, Kansas” one of my favorite songs of the year, too.
1. ”Veruca Salt” – The Wind (2018)
“Veruca Salt” may not be 49 Winchester’s most popular tune, but it’s one of the first that turned me, and many others, on to the band.
In my opinion, it is a perfect culmination of everything that 49 Winchester is. The coal country grit that comes from the band’s Appalachian roots is infused perfectly with the rocking guitars, classic country done-me-wrong lyrics, and soulful vocals that make this band so special.