Charles Wesley Godwin is undoubtedly one of the brightest beacons in the entire country music genre.
The 30-year-old West Virginia native continues to spread his signature sound to country music fans, and just recently released his deepest and most transparent album to date: Family Ties.
CWG has always been a storyteller with his music, as well as when he’s on stage performing, and his latest project magnified that when he decided to traverse the vulnerable topic of family.
Godwin told Whiskey Riff:
“I wrote a whole album about family. It’s real personal to me. I’m singing specifically to my kids and my family and everybody, and there’s nobody quite doing that – for better or worse.”
CWG isn’t exaggerating when he says “there’s nobody quite doing that.” In fact, if you’re also including how no one else is putting on a live show like he and his band The Allegheny High do, there’s actually a chance that’s an understatement.
During Charles Wesley Godwin’s two-night, sold-out run at Ryman Auditorium, which took place on December 7th and 8th, he quite literally had “the Mother Church” rocking. I was there for one of the nights and can personally tell you that I’ve never once heard the pews at the historic Ryman be so raucous.
CWG’s live shows and the energy pulsating through them are hard to describe with words. If you had to try, one could call it “anthemic,” or possibly even “tribal,” though you would have to think that creating a feeling and atmosphere that is indescribable is something that Godwin likely set out to do.
And one way Godwin has always liked to put an exclamation point on his shows is to wrap the whole thing up with the rowdiest rendition of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” you’ll ever hear. The song, which inspired CWG to write one of his more fast-paced tunes “Cue Country Roads,” is special to him as a West Virginia native.
Godwin described how much the famous tune means to him, and why he uses it as the finale for each and every one of his set lists, in a video that he posted on his social media during his triumphant two-night Ryman run:
“Closing the show with ‘Country Roads’ is the perfect thing for me to do. Because everybody knows the song, everybody loves the song, and you know, John Denver is not around anymore to get to sing it with him live.
Who better than to continue to take the torch and just keep having that special moment with folks, in person, all together, than me at the end of one of my shows?
It’s a great time. I think it’s the perfect way to ensure that everybody walks out that door with a smile on their face.”
Would it be a stretch to suggest that by playing the beloved song, for one moment, every single person in attendance is a West Virginian? Though I said earlier it’s hard to put into words the ambience that Charles Wesley Godwin creates with his shows, maybe it’s that right there. He’s comfortable as a West Virginian, and he wants his audience to experience a little taste of how they do it in the Appalachians.
You can take a look at the video from CWG below: