Hailing from Morgantown, West Virginia, Godwin is one of the most prominent figures in a new wave of Appalachian country artists that boasts acts like 49 Winchester, Ian Noe, Cole Chaney, and many more.
Most of these acts, much like Godwin, are relatively young and early in their careers, and the sky is their limit. If the country music world worked the way it should, though, CWG would already be gaining the type of accolades and recognition that recent Appalachian country music stars before him, such as Stapleton, Childers, and Sturgill, have all experienced.
Instead he has remained kept somewhat of a secret, and hopefully it is just a matter of time before he blows up.
I mean, song for song, CWG has some of the best music of anyone out there right now. CWG first hit streaming platforms back in 2018 with the release of his first single “Coal Country,” which was shortly followed by his spectacular debut album Seneca in 2019.
One of the best debut albums since Turnpike’s Diamonds & Gasoline, Seneca is a 12-track record full of songwriting brilliance, and when paired with his deep and raspy vocals, it makes for something truly special.
As difficult as it can be for an artist to follow up such a great album with something even better, it only took two years before CWG managed to come out with the best album of 2021, How the Mighty Fall. Improving even more on the aforementioned elements of his music, such as songwriting, CWG solidified himself as one of the best storytellers in all of country music.
If you have somehow made it this far without checking out Charles Wesley Godwin’s music, or just aren’t that familiar with much of it, that needs to change ASAP.
Here are 11 of my favorite CWG songs, in no particular order, that prove he is one of the most underrated acts in music. It’s only a matter of time until people realize it… so get on board now.
“Coal Country” – Seneca
“Jesse” – How the Mighty Fall
“Over Yonder” – How the Mighty Fall
“Blood Feud” – How the Mighty Fall
A little bit of Hatfields v. McCoys type action.
“I seen Mitchell rolling up the switchback Bet he never thought he’d get hit back For jumping my brother that day Yeah, he had a blood feud coming his way He signed with death and he didn’t even know it When his truck pulls up, Lord knows I’m gonna show it”
“Seneca Creek” – Seneca
“How the Mighty Fall” – How the Mighty Fall
“Cranes of Potter” – How the Mighty Fall
CWG got the inspiration for this one when he heard of an old body being found as cranes broke ground to start the construction of a factory. “Cranes of Potter” is an incredibly well written story with characters that come to life and cool references to the Civil War era.
It’s my favorite song in CWG’s whole catalog.
“Shrinks and Pills” – Seneca
“Strong” – How the Mighty Fall
“Hardwood Floors” – Seneca
“Sorry for the Wait” – Seneca
One of the coolest things about these Appalachian artists is that most of their music is so authentic, often telling stories of real things and issues that are experienced in the region.
This CWG tune is a perfect example, written from the perspective of a victim of the 1907b Monongah mining disaster.
“I ran these hills since the day I could stand And I worked the mines since the year I turned ten We got married and danced to “Canon in D” And I held our baby with your eyes at seventeen And I kissed you goodbye beneath the December sky Then I walked to work through Mononga to the mine Through king coal’s hall to the wall that I pine That day cut short, a spark by the divine…”
Don’t stop here, go check out the rest of his stuff. There truly isn’t a bad song in his entire catalog. His YouTube channel is an absolute gold mine, too, with live recordings, unreleased songs, covers, and several videos explaining the inspirations behind many of his songs.
Everyone should also check out a concert if they get the chance as well.
He kills it live with a full band, and is currently out on a run of shows supporting country music’s newest superstar, and his good buddy, Zach Bryan.