In many cases, bands get used to traveling to the same venues and playing to the same size crowds night after night. For others, it’s almost lightning in a bottle as their crowd size grows on a steady basis. Add 49 Winchester to the latter category.
If you saw them at the Neighborhood Theatre on Friday night, Nov. 4, chances are you’re one of roughly 500 people who will be sharing stories of, “I remember seeing them in a small club in Charlotte….”
It was only a couple of years ago that the Virginia-based country outfit was performing to a crowd of one person at Crown Station, singer/guitarist Isaac Gibson told the crowd. “Now, we’re playing to 500 of you!” he shouted while toasting the NoDa venue’s audience. Earlier this year, 49 Winchester had performed to a smaller crowd from the bar-side stage. This time around, they were on the main stage — lights flashing, guitars blazing.
The band draws from the same old-school, inspirational well of country songwriting that has grown fan bases for Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson and similar artists. The vocals are a bit raspy, the stories are honest and draw the listener in.
As 49 Winchester rolled through 18 songs during their Charlotte concert, it’s not out of reach to think that so many of them could easily be hits — “All I Need,” “Long Hard Life,” “Russell County Line,” and “Last Call” among them. There are plenty of online publications that say the band is another one that’s “saving country music” or that they deserve all of the “Best New Artist” accolades they should be up for. In the meantime, don’t sleep the next time they’re in town — it will probably be a sold-out show, or maybe a bigger venue.
It’s worth noting that the opening act, Drayton Farley, will likely be headlining his own show in the near future. He opened for Willie Nelson earlier this year and his solo performance showcased his own songwriting and compelling tunes. Keep an ear out for him, as well.
49 Winchester setlist
It’s a Shame
All I Need
Long Hard Life
Russell County Line
Fortune Favors the Bold