When you listen to Isaac Gibson’s evocative voice, it’s hard to imagine him in any other job. Not to say that he wouldn’t be a good actuary, but you realize that’s not where his real talent lies. His voice is filled with the ache that has fueled countless songs, and it was made to fill dark honky tonks where people want to dance. Beyond that, he has a way of telling a story that makes you pay attention to every word.
In many ways, 49 Winchester, the nom de plume of singer/songwriter/guitarist Isaac Gibson, could be considered your stereotypical gruff and gritty homegrown troubadour. Over the course of the past six years, Gibson and his compatriots have made it a point to keep to the basics, be it a blazing combination of drive and defiance, or tears-in-their-beers balladry flush with seething emotion. That’s especially true on the band’s latest outing III, a confident collection that gives voice to the band’s pure, unfettered intents.
...pegging 49 Winchester solely as a country band would do them a disservice. They describe themselves as “alt-country soul from the heart of Appalachia,” and you can hear the eclectic influences come through the music created by five young men who grew up listening to an array of genres.
If You’re Still Sleeping On 49 Winchester, It’s Time To Wake Your A** Up. 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.
I couldn’t get over how lively this record is, as singer Isaac Gibson guides us through a bushwacking journey of hell raising, booze-drinking, headache-nursing alt-country. When you hear Gibson deliver his lyrics, with their mixture of gallows humor and clever slang, you won’t be thinking of anyone else.
- Jackalope Magazine
49 Winchester demonstrate a legitimate brand of Appalachian soul. This quintet’s front man and songwriter Isaac Gibson boasts a mighty, raspy voice that belies his youthful looks (and reminiscent of the great Chris Stapleton). The last track “Get Clean” is a stunner and worth the cost of admission alone.
For the better part of the last decade, the band has been relentlessly working its way through the Southeastern music industry — playing every stage and festival that’ll have ‘em — where now the raucous group is whispered in the same breath (of raw talent and sincere passion) as the Drive-By Truckers, Tyler Childers and Sturgill Simpson, to name a few.
- Garrett Woodward / Smoky Mountain News
...together they are distinctly and proudly Appalachian – carrying on and reinventing the musical traditions of their region with a sound that is wholly and distinctively their own. Gibson, the lead vocalist and primary songwriter for the group, possesses a voice that defies categorization – it’s country, blues, and soul all in one and it is intrinsically entwined with his unforgettable songwriting.
49 WINCHESTER CANNOT BE TIED DOWN. Six years after their inception, the Castlewood, VA quintet are no longer “the new kids on the block”, and have inspired a wave of young bands in their region with their seamless fusion of rock&roll, country, and blues, and with their infallible DIY approach to everything surrounding their music.
Triggered by Gibson’s oft-introspective lyrics, 49 Winchester could stand firm as a thinking man’s band. Appalachian wisdom spun in a web of youth and vigor, wonders and questions propel their latest album, “The Wind.” Nationwide, expanses of music fans know Appalachia for its bluegrass and country music. Gospel, too. As testified by 49 Winchester, that’s not all that surfaces from the region. They’re not Ralph Stanley. Don’t want to be, either.