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49 Winchester– Leavin This Holler Tour


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.
“There’s been nothing in my life that’s ever lasted a decade,” Gibson says. “We had just
gotten out of high school when we played our first show — 10 years later we’re opening
for Luke Combs at the O2 Arena.”
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.
“We were on a slow simmer for a lot of years before things really started to pick up with
our last record Fortune Favors the Bold,” Gibson says. “And this new album is going to
do it even bigger.”
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.
“We take influence from a lot of different avenues,” Gibson says. “We don’t shy away
from any of the music we like.”
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.
“It’s a testament to the uncommon fact that we’re musicians from a very specific place in
the world,” Gibson says. “And it’s a testament to viewing each other more as family than
as friends.”
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.
“It’s always been a family affair,” Gibson says. “When you can look at it that way, as
lifelong friends and not business associates or hired guns, you can look at it through a
different lens, which just lends itself to longevity.”
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.
“We’re happy to be doing what we’re doing and never could have imagined doing it on
this scale,” Gibson says. “Everyday we’re out there is a blessing for us.”
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.
“We’ve all grown a lot in our personal lives since Fortune Favors the Bold,” Gibson says.
“Several of us have started families, and that’s kind of played into the lyrical themes —
things are a little different with this record.”
Beyond its upbeat country tempos (“Hillbilly Happy”) and sorrowful ballads (“Tulsa”),
whirlwind guitar riffs (“Make It Count”) and rumbling vocals (“Traveling Band”),
Leavin’ This Holler offers up a more focused sense of self — this new, bountiful level of
intent and purpose.
“Each album captures a kind of different season in my life,” Gibson says. “In terms of
what I’m dealing with, what lessons I’m learning, what lessons I’m failing to learn
Both “Fast Asleep” and “Anchor” incorporate the Czech National Symphony Orchestra,
with the stirring melodies showcasing Gibson’s voice erupting into the ether of an
unknown tomorrow.
“We love the string arrangements from those great country acts of the 1960s, 70s and
80s,” Gibson says. “We wanted to explore every possible sound we could on this record.
No stone left unturned sonically — we got it exactly where we wanted it.”
Now with a decade under its belt, 49 Winchester is also going through this full circle of
emotions and sentiments as of late. Still calling the rural countryside of Castlewood,
Virginia, home, Gibson shakes his head in appreciation and gratitude for the simple
things in life, which, as you get older, become the most important.
“There’s no place like home — it’s a constant source of inspiration,” Gibson says. “I’ll be
riding down some backcountry road and there’s just something about that movement,
that hum of the motor, and the thoughts running through your mind that spark a song.”
With Leavin’ This Holler hitting the streets, 49 Winchester is gearing up for more
worldwide touring featuring several arena gigs with Tyler Childers and their debut at
And, in a highly-anticipated appearance, 49 Winchester will also be headlining the
famed Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion — a homecoming festival of sorts for the band,
who played some of its earliest gigs at the renowned gathering.
“We’ve all just come along so far as musicians and as friends,” Gibson says. “The way we
think musically has changed, the way we perform has changed — we’ve just grown and

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