SONG PREMIERE/LP Announcement: Charles Wesley Godwin Displays Gravity & Grit On Buzzin’ “Lyin Low” Off ‘How the Mighty Fall’ LP

It sounds like an old Willie Nelson song but who wouldn’t want to keep it simple and real: small house, pets, a yard, songs to play locally, and never having to work for the man. Well, Charles Wesley Godwin is matching some of those very ideal life priorities worth his number one. Yet Godwin has a shockingly potent voice that stinks with a gravitas that sounds earnest, emotive, and earthy in all the most musically legit ways.

Godwin will be releasing his new album How the Mighty Fall on November 5th, the follow-up to his debut Seneca, which has been streamed almost 4.4 million times on Spotify alone. Since that release in 2019, he’s been signed to True Grit Management, alongside such luminaries as the Black Pumas, Cody Jinks, Nikki Lane, Paulk Cauthen and Daniel Donato. 

Glide is premiering the ravishing “Lyin’ Low,” How the Might Fall (below) which buzzes with a full steam of electric guitars, drums, and string instruments giving the song a working-class rootsy flair. Yet while the song might be dipped in the joys of keeping it true, Godwin boils his notes in a compelling way that would make most do a double-take for Colter Wall or Sturgill Simpson.

“Lyin’ Low” is about being content in life. It’s about stepping back, focusing on the things that really matter and trying my best to stay out of the rat race & the never-ending desire for more. I have a home, a family, a culture and I get to write songs and sing them for a living. I love what I do. Why kill myself chasing more and more? “Lyin’ Low” is my way of getting my priorities straight.

A native of West Virginia, Charles Wesley Godwin makes cinematic country-folk that’s as gorgeous and ruggedly raw as his homeland. It’s Appalachian Americana, rooted in Godwin’s sharp songwriting and backwoods baritone. With 2021’s How the Mighty Fall, he trades the autobiographical lyrics that filled Seneca — his acclaimed debut, released in 2019 and celebrated by everyone from Rolling Stone to NPR’s Mountain Stage — for a collection of character-driven songs about mortality, hope, and regret, putting an intimate spin on the universal concerns we all share. 

How the Mighty Fall began with a series of moments within a few months of each other, in the fall of 2018, that inspired me in a profound way. The first was a run that I was on early one morning in a small southern West Virginia town. I ran underneath an old bridge with three stone columns that had graffiti all over them. As I ran by, I scanned the various spray paintings and statements made on the stone. There was one in particular that jumped out at me. Written in red, so matter-of-factly, with no attempt to fancy up the words, was the line, “Are you thinking of me like I’m thinking of you?” I thought on those words the rest of my run and began to fantasize about who that might be about. Soon thereafter, “Jesse” was started,” says Godwin.

“Another moment happened on one bright, sunny morning as my wife and our two dogs turned the corner in town, we saw a church congregation begin to make their way up into the worship hall for their Sunday service. From a distance, I saw an elderly lady struggling with all her might to walk up the handful of steps from the sidewalk to the main doors of the church. There was a ramp right next to those steps that she chose not to use. There was something about the resolve she had in her eyes, the great pride that she carried herself with, even though the vehicle that her soul existed in seemed to be breaking down in every way possible in those final years. I thought, she must have really been something, back when the world was in her hands, the future bright and death was a distant, trifling thing that she one day might be inconvenienced with. The very next day, the title track “How the Mighty Fall” was written in full,” adds Godwin.

“There’s a long list of similar circumstances and happenings in my life that sparked the rest of the songs on this record but if I got into each and every one of those, well, this letter to you might be more like a chapter in a book, or worse, a whole book. Maybe at the live shows we can get into those weeds. For brevity’s sake, I’ll just say that the songs on How the Mighty Fall all have to do with the overarching theme of mortality. Beneath that, it deals with what it is to live a full life with no regret, to live to the max, that it’s never too late to try and right the ship no matter how far you may have fallen. On the other side, some of the songs dive into narrators and characters living or witnessing events that’ll bring with them great regret and sorrow ‘til the end of their days.”

“With the birth of my son, many more thousands of miles traveled on the road and a worldwide pandemic that brought a large part of my “working” life to a screeching halt, the last couple of years have made me look at myself differently in the mirror. I see that wrinkles are beginning to carve themselves into my skin, grey is beginning to take hold and suddenly death is not just some distant, trifling thing that I may one day be inconvenienced with. It is a certainty. I have many shortcomings, and I’ve made many mistakes in my life that I wish I could take back, but that’s living. I can say however, that love for my family is not one of those shortcomings.”

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