Charles Wesley Godwin Profile

Sam Westerman, Staff Writer

From a town nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia arose a storyteller capable of altering the atmosphere of every amphitheater. Born and raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, a new voice is rapidly rising to fame in the country genre. This is Charles Wesley Godwin.

Growing up in one of the most picturesque towns in the country, some of Godwin’s most favorable childhood hobbies were outdoor activities. He loved to hunt, fish, and stay active, playing many sports: particularly football. He was close with his two parents who worked in two of the most energy-consuming occupations in America, were a coal miner and a teacher. All the while, Godwin was drawn to music.

“Some of my earliest memories are of riding in my dad’s car while he’d listen to oldies radio,” Godwin said. “Some of the first ever songs to be stuck in my head were from the Beatles and Johnny Cash.”

Charles began attending West Virginia University in 2012, as he had a goal of joining the Mountaineers on the football field. Fortunately, Godwin was cut from the team, and he turned to music to fill the void.

Soon after picking up the guitar, he realized that he had a knack for the field. He looked up to his idols, Western country artists like Ryan Bingham and Willie Nelson, with a consistent confidence that not many names in the genre develop early.

“When I realized I had a natural God-given talent for this thing and enjoyed doing it, I dove in whole-heartedly and completely because I saw a real possibility.”

After studying abroad and graduating from WVU in 2014, Godwin married, following his wife across the state border to Ohio. In Charles Wesley Godwin’s first-ever album released, he created a true breakthrough. Seneca, which served as a nod to his Appalachian roots, took the genre by a twister in 2019.

Led by “Hardwood Floors,” a nostalgic setting in which a woman is encouraged to let her guard down and simply dance, the project was invited to share a spotlight with names as big as Luke Combs.

In an era of Country full of clean-cut men singing about spending time at a bar, the rugged man from the lowlands with things to say about life commanded attention. His striking vocals transmitted resonant lyrics to listeners.

This theme was continued with his sophomore album in 2021, How the Mighty Fall. Rather than singing about drowning the pain of a breakup with booze, Godwin describes the pain of isolation itself in the fan-favorite “Jesse.”

Although Godwin has not released a project since this one, he has been performing at some of the most anticipated events in the country. In the summer of 2022, Godwin traveled on a tour with Zach Bryan, who is currently the biggest voice in the genre.

The two joined forces on a chart-topper single, Jamie. In a dark but moving story, the two paint the picture of a man who dies trying to free himself from the mental shackles of his last relationship.

Garnering support with his approach to releases, Godwin’s value for quality over quantity leaves fans on pins and needles until this summer. His third project will be here in a matter of weeks.

“If you asked me one artist who I think is going to be a superstar,” music reviewer Aaron Ryan said, “without hesitation, I would say Charles Wesley Godwin.”