Charles Wesley Godwin Delivers Lights Out Cover Of Neil Young’s “Heart Of Gold” From The Van

If you aren’t listening to Charles Wesley Godwin yet, what the hell are you doing?

The West Virginia native and reigning Whiskey Riff Album of the Year winner is quickly making a name for himself as one of the most captivating artists coming out of the Appalachia country scene, and I’d even go as far as to argue, country music as a whole.

His latest album, How the Mighty Fall, was one of our favorites of 2021 here at Whiskey Riff, and it’s easy to see that the guy has so much more in the arsenal in his relatively young music career.

Not to mention, the guy can cover the hell out of some songs.

A few months back, he covered Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire,” and maybe it’s just the country music fan in me, but I’d rather hear Charles W sing that one all damn day.

And yesterday, he released a video of him absolutely crushing another cover, and this time, it’s Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.”

Released in 1972 as the lead single from his Harvest album, it went on to become Young’s only #1 single in the United States. Featuring backup vocals from James Taylor and Linda Rondstadt, Bob Dylan notoriously hated the song because he thought it sounded like one of his own:

“The only time it bothered me that someone sounded like me was when I was living in Phoenix, Arizona, in about ’72 and the big song at the time was ‘Heart of Gold.’

I used to hate it when it came on the radio. I always liked Neil Young, but it bothered me every time I listened to ‘Heart of Gold.’ I think it was up at number one for a long time, and I’d say, “Shit, that’s me. If it sounds like me, it should as well be me.”

“Heart of Gold” has also been recorded by Willie Nelson in 1987, Johnny Cash did it with Red Hot Chili Peppers, and even Kacey Musgraves recorded a version for her self-titled demo album in 2007.


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock