Musicians return home for weekend of shows

NASHVILLE — Some old friends will be coming to the area for a musical reunion of sorts next weekend as the band Winchester Fletcher will play a Friday night show, Feb. 11 at the Bear’s Den in Argos and then hit the stage at the Dandelion in Plymouth the next night, Saturday, Feb. 12.
The band features two familiar names to the area in Justin Hall and Bill Rice, who have been making a name for themselves with the band in Nashville. Hall decided it was time to come home for a visit.
“We’d been coming up by ourselves doing some acoustic stuff for awhile, playing in garages or wherever,” said Hall, an Argos native. “We just decided that it was time to bring the whole band up for a visit.”
Hall spent several years playing in Colorado and California, but when he met former George Strait producer and songwriter Blake Mevis — ironically a native of LaPaz — things started to take off in his career.
“He got ahold of a demo and really liked what he heard and told me I had to move to Nashville,” said Hall. “He hooked me up writing with a bunch of great guys and I spent some time doing that. Before long, I met Cory Adair (drummer for Winchester Fletcher) and we decided that we’d put together a band.”
It also wasn’t long before a former friend and bandmate came south to join Hall as well. Bill Rice, also of Argos, accepted Hall’s invitation to come and work with the group.
“We needed some extra vocals and we’d known each other forever,” said Hall. “Our parents had a band together and we grew up singing together so it was a perfect fit.”
The two had grown up onstage singing as part of their parents’ gospel group, “The Joint Heirs” which performed around the area. Later on friends Jared Good from LaPaz and Ryan Hampton from Plymouth made the trip to Nashville to help in various ways — musically and professionally.
The band made another important connection.
“We’ve been working with Joe Scaife who worked on all the early Alabama albums, he was the one that broke Billy Ray Cyrus and ‘Achy Breaky Heart.’ He’s worked with Gretchen Wilson and Montgomery Gentry,” said Hall. “He took us to Reba McIntire’s studio and has been working with us on about 10 tracks so far. We need a few more for an album.
“We want to do it right get a record deal with the right company. I mean it’s not that hard to get a record deal, but it’s real hard to keep one. You have to find a company whose going to pay some attention to you and help you out and not just leave you hanging out there.”
So how would Hall describe Winchester Fletcher’s sound?
“We like to say if AC/DC got together with Waylon Jennings and had a child it would sound like us,” he said with a laugh. “We grew up influenced by everything — gospel, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin — but that guitar driven outlaw sound is really what we are.”