On May 13, Virginia natives 49 Winchester will release their new album Fortune Favors the Bold. The burgeoning band’s lead single “Russell County Line” serves as a love song for their hometown of Castlewood.
Joining the vast canon of country music road songs, “Russell County Line” shines with understated acoustic guitars and a sprinkle of piano. Frontman Issac Gibson sings about bridging the distance put between him and his home when out on the road: “I have traveled such a distance / Just to see the smile that’s on your face / And I have traveled far and wide / And I have died and lived and flown through time and space / And the most familiar happiness I’ve ever known is here with me again / Tucked away inside my home.“
The track captures how even when our dreams take us to new places, something in the soul always awakens the most when we’re right back home. Gibson bears witness to this in the chorus when he sings: “And if you wonder where my heart is when I’m out on the road / It’s right at home, I left it honey just for you to hold / And if you wonder how I’m doing, know that I am doing fine / But I wish I was in Virginia on the Russell County line.”
The emotional hold Castlewood has on the band is palpable in Gibson’s voice. For 49 Winchester, their Virginia home is not just where they grew up, but where they got their start as a band. They even took their name from the place where it all started: Winchester Street. “We didn’t start out as a bunch of hot shot pickers out of Nashville,” Gibson said in a statement. “We started out on the ground floor.”
The “Russell County Line” music video was filmed in Castlewood, and even features a visit to the Clinch River, where their childhood homes were located. “It was great to be able to capture the essence of home on video,” said Gibson. “I’m excited for the fans to see it and those who are from far and wide to get a little taste of central Appalachia.”
49 Winchester will be out on the road from now until September, bringing their Appalachian sound across the country. They will also be supporting Whiskey Myers on their Tornillo tour this summer. You can find a full list of their upcoming tour dates at the band’s official website.
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