Charles Wesley Godwin Details His Father’s Hard Life Of Coal Mining On Joe Rogan: “Cave-Ins… Crawling On His Belly Trying To Dig His Way Out”

Joe Rogan and Charles Wesley Godwin
Charles Wesley Godwin

Joe Rogan has continued to be a champion of great country music, shouting out artists like Tyler Childers, Colter Wall, Whiskey Myers, Jamey Johnson and Billy Strings, while also featuring country music guests like Zach Bryan, Sturgill Simpson, Luke Combs and Chris Stapleton.

And with arguably one of the largest, and most loyal fanbases in the entire entertainment industry, a shoutout from Joe (or better yet an appearance), is worth more than a performance slot on SNL or some boring late night show.

But his latest guest might be one of the most deserving, one of the most talented, and one who is already on a rocket to the moon right now… the great Charles Wesley Godwin. Ladies and gentleman, the Charles Wesley Godwin and Joe Rogan podcast episode is HERE.

“It was such a pleasure talking with Joe Rogan on the JRE! We had a hell of conversation talking about the muse, my start in music, and the highs & lows in pursuit of a dream amongst other things. Hope y’all enjoy!”

Rogan and Charles Wesley Godwin sat down and talked about everything under the sun on the 2-hour episode. From magic mushrooms being found in cow sh*t to music and family, the episode covers a wide array of topics. During the episode they two chatting at length about mining and the hard life that miners live.

The Morgantown, West Virginia native knows firsthand about the life of a miner, as CWG’s father was one. Godwin has talked in the past about how “Miner Imperfections,” off Family Ties, is written for his father, and the lyrics touch on the sacrifices his dad made to provide for his family working in dangerous conditions.

“But long walls don’t run on nine to five
I didn’t get it then, every day that man would fight
To punch the clock and make it home alive….”

After touching on the song, Godwin and Rogan start chatting about just how hard and dangerous the work of a miner is, and CWG opens up sharing more about his father’s time in the mines.

“When my dad was my age. From 27 to 30, he worked in 26 and a half inches of coal. From floor to ceiling.”

He then goes on to say that while most people think coal miners work in regulated mines owned by energy companies, that is often not the case. Private land owners can get permits to mine on their land, but these work conditions are not as regulated and more dangerous than the large-scale coal mines.

“That’s what the case was for that job that he had there for three years. It was for a small private mine; they weren’t using roof bolts. So he had cave-ins before where he’s just digging way…crawling on his belly, trying to dig his way out. That would never fly nowadays. 

My dad started…he was born in ’53, so he started in the early ’70s and went to the early ’90s. So, he was at the unique time where there was still some of that old-time stuff, but you know, it was transitioning to the modern-day mines today where it’s just underground cities.”

CWG then says that when his dad stopped mining he was working for the longest mine in the nation at that time, where it spanned over 100 miles. This blew Rogan’s mind as he did not realize that there were mines that long in the country. CWG then goes to tell Rogan that number is child’s play compared to how long mines are today. As the mines got longer, the technology for harvesting coal also got better, making the time that CWG’s dad was mining something you wouldn’t see today.

CWG tells Rogan that when his dad was mining, he was on his stomach using a machine to chip away at the coal, and small conveyor belts would take the coal out of the mine. Talk about not only the tight space that his father spent all day in but also the physical labor that goes into performing that job.

“They had machinery; they weren’t doing that by hand…I’d be freaking out if it was that tight.” 

Thankfully, CWG shares that his dad does not have any long-term issues from the time he spent mining.

Those who spent time in a mine know the definition of hard work, and a large portion of Appalachia relies on those in the mines for the town economy to thrive. If something happens to the mines, the livelihood of the people living in the town is at stake. These towns often live in extreme poverty, and cities are often ghosted when tragedy strikes in the mine as the workers move on to the next one.

It’s a vicious cycle.

If there is one person who is going to authentically tell the story of what growing up in a mining town is like, it’s CWG, and hearing these stories about his dad makes you appreciate how he weaves his experiences into his lyrics.

Of course, after hearing CWG’s insight on mining, it’s only appropriate to listen to “Miner Imperfections.” You really appreciate the lyrics more after hearing him talk about his father.

Check out the full The Joe Rogan Experience podcast episode with Charles Wesley Godwin while you’re here.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock