If it wasn't already clear, boy are we excited about 49 Winchester.
Holler's favourite group out of Russell County, Virginia came onto our radar with the release of their 2022 album, Fortune Favours The Bold.
It's concoction of wistful Americana, country rock and soul spoke immediately to our hearts, cementing itself high on our Albums of the Year list.
The band, led by the indefatigable voice of Isaac Gibson, wear everything on their sleeve; whether it's when documenting plaintive memories of home or propping up the bar stool until everyone else has dropped - the sweat, blood and life of their sound is there for everyone to hear.
Joining us at The Betsey Trotwood pub for their Holler Live Session, the group offer us a distinctly unique set up for this particular round. While not performing in their traditional full-band set up, they are not completely stripped back - performing their three songs with the gruff and full bodied nature of their live set, with the aid of electric guitars.
'Neon', from the aforementioned Fortune Favours The Bold, fits the mood inside the bedecked walls of the Betsey pub. A lilting, combative number, Gibson battles with the demons of where you come from, even though you moved away. Yearning for release as the band waltz through it's interlude, Gibson ends with a yelp; "Long as that neon stays on, I've always got a place to call home".
Next is 'Annabel', one of their most emotionally demanding and evocative numbers. In the pub, it bristles in it's minor chords; the playfulness of Isaac and Bus' guitars with Chase's bass lines offering a little hope at the end of the line for what's to come; "And I guess I'll just give it a shot now /
Try to make it on my own"
Finishing their session with the pensive 'Hays, Kansas', the group show exactly why everyone's getting so excited about them. An exasperated song, full of regret, the songwriting is raw and uncompromising. Isaac even offers a more subdued, pensive delivery to match the defeat that lingers in not knowing who are, or having to go back to a town where you mould into the foundations.
It's a thoroughly compelling and exuberant performance - the band finding the sweet spot between playful sonic creativity and gnawing, sentimental songwriting.
Performing their songs 'Neon', 'Annabel' and 'Hays, Kansas', this is 49 Winchester for the Holler Live Sessions.
Director: Tom Francome
Cameras: Tom Francome, Nick Richards and Joe Monk
Audio Engineer and Sound Editor: Nathaniel Kastoryano
Editor: Dan Monro (Lookout Productions)
Producers: Ross Jones & Ciara Bains