49 Winchester Interview

49 Winchester Interview

By Nigel Sharpe for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Last October, while standing onstage in front of 20,000 people at London’s 02 Arena, it dawned on 49 Winchester lead singer/guitarist Isaac Gibson that on the same day, exactly 10 years ago, he formed the rapidly rising alt-country band.

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On the heels of Combs’ European tour, 49 Winchester has been selling out storied venues across America, including a wildly successful Canadian run alongside Corb Lund. And, in celebration of these recent milestones, comes the release of 49 Winchester’s latest album, Leavin’ This Holler.

Leavin’ This Holler is 49 Winchester’s fifth studio album, and second collaborative work with Virginia-native producer Stewart Myers. In addition, the project also features the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, singer-songwriter Maggie Antone on backing vocals, fiddler Philip Bowen, and guitarist Cole Chafin. Chafin is not only the guitar tech for 49 Winchester, he’s also the younger brother of the band’s founding member and bassist, Chase Chafin.

Being in front of massive audiences, all eager to witness 49 Winchester’s raucous, live wire shows, Gibson felt it was a moment where he could honestly reflect on the hard-earned, unrelenting determination and grit within the band that’s brought them to this current juncture of increasing notoriety.

Hailing from Castlewood, Virginia (population: 2.045) in the desolate backwoods of Southern Appalachia — a place where opportunity seldom knocks — 49 Winchester came to fruition when Gibson, his childhood best friend, Chafin, and his hometown crony, guitarist Bus Shelton, decided to step off the front porch (on Winchester Street) and take their music to whatever stage would have ’em.

Since its formation, 49 Winchester has fiercely retained this inner resolve to transcend one’s lot in life with a reckless abandon that’s led to widespread acclaim and fandom in the country, Americana and rock realms.

Captured in a handful studios around the country whenever there was a rare moment between relentless touring schedules — including recording stints at White Star Sound (Louisa, Virginia), Pet Moose (Richmond, Virginia) and Echo Mountain (Asheville, North Carolina), as well as Nashville’s Blackbird and Front Stage — Leavin’ This Holler is that signature 49 Winchester sound of rollicking country and searing rock music, but with a matured approach this go-round.

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