Charles Wesley Godwin’s rustic imagery and traditional-leaning Americana sound has spawned comparisons with contemporaries such as Tyler Childers. While this assessment is an oversimplification, there is a notable similarity in the way that Godwin does not make any attempt to meet the listener where they are; if they want to enjoy the music, they’ll have to follow Godwin on a rocky trail through his Appalachian soundscape and into an entirely unique world full of enchanting characters.
Although he pointedly refuses to pander to mainstream impulses, the palette with which Godwin paints is nonetheless easy on the eye, and proves accessible to cosmic-country die-hards and boyfriend-country flag-bearers alike.
Godwin’s 2019 debut album, Seneca, was met with resounding acclaim, as the West Virginia native crafted a sound that felt expansive and cinematic, while at the same time being lucidly tuned-in to the details and specificities of the subject matter.
The project stood largely as an ode to his Morgantown roots, and Godwin maintained his charmingly grounded sensibilities throughout his follow-up 2021 album, How the Mighty Fall. However, his 2021 offering widened the canvas and tested out new territory - both thematically and sonically.
The driving force that underpins Charles Wesley Godwin’s musical mission statement - and what many would argue should be at the heart of all country music - is a love of timeless storytelling. The listener meets a host of bewitching characters throughout Godwin’s discography, from the tragic tale of Claire, the mayor’s daughter, in ‘Cranes of Potter’, to the embattled protagonist of ‘Seneca Creek’.
Godwin continues to bring the soft, Autumnal glow of his warm melodies and wistful lap steel guitar to crowds across the US, having recently finished a hugely successful tour supporting fellow country-folk progressive, Zach Bryan.
The singer-songwriter payed homage to his fellow West Virginian in the Instagram clip, which he posted on December 1.
The West Virginia artist recently posted a live rendition of the unreleased track on his Instagram page.