Artist: Charles Wesley Godwin
Hometown: Morgantown, West Virginia
Latest Album: How the Mighty Fall
Personal nicknames: Chuck
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
I live in the hills of West Virginia. I’m in the woods every day of my life when I’m home. This is the setting for all of my work thus far. This place is a part of everything that I do whether I know it or not. I believe it gives me peace and a different type of rest as well. There’s a type of rest that I believe we all need that has nothing to do with laying down or the amount of sleep that we get. It’s just being out there wherever you may be where the world is still the way it was 10,000 years ago. Phone calls can’t reach you, texts don’t come in and there ain’t nothing to check on except whatever it is that you’re doing or thinking about at that moment. I get that kind of rest when I’m hunting, scouting for deer, fishing, or hiking.
What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I remember I’d just played my first gig ever for a lingerie fashion show in Tartu, Estonia, while I was studying abroad. I got handed 150 euros after the show was done and I thought to myself, “Oh my God. I’ve figured it all out. This is the best job in the world. This is what I’m going to do.” Drinks were on me that night.
What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?
“Coal Country” was a bear for me. The subject matter of that song is such a tender subject that I had to absolutely think through every little piece of every single idea I had about “coal.” I had to make absolutely sure I knew exactly what I felt and why. It was painstaking to write that song. I think it took about two months and I was working on it in some form or fashion just about every day. I believe it improved my songwriting ability considerably going through that one.
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
My favorite memory is Kathy Mattea (the queen of West Virginia country music) calling me out onto the Mountain Stage to perform at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, West Virginia. It was one of the purest feelings of joy in my life. I’ll never forget it and it’ll always be one of the milestones that I’m most proud of.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
Ok, what pops up in my head immediately is a Chris Knight show at The Hamilton in Washington, DC (real fancy spot) and that night on the menu they serve venison backstrap, garden green beans, morel mushrooms, and mashed potatoes with ramps. Bulleit bourbon old fashioneds are the cocktail for the night. I’d go into debt for a show like that.
Photo Credit: Harry Ilyer