LISTEN Charles Wesley Godwin Dazzles On Swooping “Strong”

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 debut, released in 2019 — for a collection of character-driven songs about mortality, hope, and regret, putting an intimate spin on the universal concerns we all share.

With a passionate and expressive vocal outpouring, Godwin dazzles on his swooping new single, “Strong.” Without over done production gleam, the track is big and beefy with concise arrangement. Though it is full of western attitude, “Strong” is never too busy. The array of tones share space so politely, filling the track from top to bottom with low end groove, as piano, strings and guitar cut across the sonic landscape. 

“Strong” is about resilience. No matter who you are or how much you may or may not have, life is going to throw bombs at you whether you like it or not. At certain points in all of our lives, we will be pushed to our physical, emotional and financial limits and it’s how we respond in those moments that will ultimately define us. “Strong” is a call to myself and all of you to stand strong in those moments and fight for who you want to be in this world.

When I was growing up, my older brother was a national class distance runner. As a younger brother, I often found myself just following along with what my older brother got into because that’s just how it works in a family. Your parents can only be in one place at one time. So, I ran too. I wasn’t very good at it and I didn’t win very many races but it did make running a part of my life that’s turned into a hobby that I have to this day. My brother’s favorite athlete growing up was Steve Prefontaine, a famous American distance runner for Oregon University and he was known for having one of the gutsiest Olympic performances of all time in the Munich Olympics. I wanted to incorporate Steve Prefontaine into this song as a symbol of strength, guts and resilience. I believe me and my band did it justice.” 

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