Charles Wesley Godwin at EXIT/In for AmericanaFest 2022.
From rowdy and twangy to stripped down acoustic, Charles Wesley Godwin’s Thursday night opening set at the EXIT/IN brought Appalachian hills experiences to the AmericanaFest crowd.
The seven piece band began with “Hardwood Floors” before an enthusiastic audience. A brief interlude in the song to introduce the band brought on a roar from the crowd with the song’s return.
On “Lying Low” the audience got into a sing-along.
In an unexpected twist to audience participation, an unsuspecting audience member at the stage is handed a slide guitar by band member Read Connolly to hold. Then he laid down his string work for “Shrinks and Pills” while the instrument rested in her hands.
A more subdued number followed with less rock and more roll as piano and pedal steel accents on “Temporary Own” rose above guitar work.
Godwin’s band left the stage and he was armed solely with his voice and acoustic picking on “Seneca Creek” – a song about raising a family in the Appalachian hills.
Godwin then picked up the pace on “All Again” – a faster guitar-strummed song. The song looks at the ups and downs of life and relationship and the willingness to follow the same path if offered a second chance.
With the return of the full band to the stage “Blood Feud” was next from 2021’s album
“How the Mighty Fall.” Godwin introduced the song as realizing what you’re capable of to protect those near and dear.
All elements are full-throated on the song – drums and percussion, pedal steel, piano, guitar and bass. Then in the last moments the song shifts to a slow strum and trailing pedal steel. Quite an amazing adrenaline rush seeing it live and in person.
Next a lament, beginning with Godwin’s acoustic work and vocals. The other musical elements are eased in. The song “Jesse” is about graffiti crawl on a bridge placed by an ex-lover in a state of longing for what once was.
Godwin’s set closed with a bouncy number, “Strong,” and the crowd willingly complied with that vibe.
The Godwin set was a great way to start off the Thursday evening schedule at AmericanaFest.
Enjoy our interview of Charles Wesley Godwin, here: Key to the Highway: Charles Wesley Godwin
Take a look at the AmericanaFest Lineup and schedule here: https://americanamusic.org/about-americanafest
Find Charles Wesley Godwin music and tour dates here: http://www.charleswgodwin.com
by Brian DeSpain