49 Winchester formed in Castlewood, Virginia just over eight years ago. Isaac Gibson (vocals/guitar), Chase Chafin (bass), Bus Shelton (guitar), Noah Patrick (pedal steel), and Dillon Cridlin (drums) were high school friends who shared a love for music. When they got together, that’s all that mattered. They were just a handful of dudes hanging out and making music together.
Since those days, 49 Winchester has released four studio albums. Over the years, they’ve changed their sound. When their latest release, Fortune Favors the Bold, dropped in May, they offered a combination of Appalachian folk, traditional country music, and Southern rock with flourishes of blues and gospel. The album caught the ears of countless fans and critics around the world.
Today, 49 Winchester is one of the most talked-about up-and-coming bands in country music. In the past year, they’ve toured the country and made their Grand Ole Opry debut. Recently, their newfound stardom led them to The Kelly Clarkson Show. Watch them perform the lead single from Fortune Favors the Bold on Clarkson’s stage below in what Clarkson notes is their network TV debut.
49 Winchester’s Isaac Gibson on ‘Annabel’
“I wrote ‘Annabel’ not long after the band first started,” Isaac Gibson told Spin. The 49 Winchester frontman went on to say, “We played it some, retired it, and forgot about it.”
After having the song in their collective back pocket for almost a decade 49 Winchester decided to dust it off and see what they could do with it. “It was a good tune we have never recorded and hadn’t played live in a while so we revisited it, breathed new life into its lungs and it turned out to be one of my favorite tracks on the record.”
Gibson liked it so much that he and the rest of 49 Winchester decided to release it as the lead single from their latest album. However, they based the decision on more than Gibson’s love for the track. “We decided on it as the initial release from this album because it perfectly sums up what we set out to do, which was to push our sonic boundaries,” Gibson said. “We used some different instrumentation than usual – Bus plays the baritone guitar, there is an acoustic track there. It’s just lush and rich.”
Gibson went on to say that between 49 Winchester’s new take on the song and the production on the album, “Annabel” fit what they wanted to do perfectly. He called it a “shining example” of what they wanted to do with Fortune Favors the Bold.
The video above doesn’t capture the fullness of 49 Winchester’s updated sound. However, the band shows why so many people have flocked to their live shows and why they’re on the minds of fans and critics across the nation.