Charles Wesley Godwin

REVIEW: Charles Wesley Godwin “Family Ties”


Charles Wesley Godwin – Family Ties

Charles Wesley Godwin’s new album Family Ties (Big Loud Records) is, as the title suggests, classic Americana songs of country, mountain, rural family ties.  It was produced by Al Torrence, who also produced Godwin’s break out debut album Seneca.  Why mess with a winning combination?

The album opens with an instrumental overture and then the title track, in Charles’ hearty twang, “chasing dreams like wildfire, in my kids eyes I see their desire.” A touch of banjo amidst the violin and this is glorious and powerful.  “Strike me down if I cut family ties … tied to the old ways of all my kin” finishes off the message for this one.

“Miner Imperfections” is an ode to old miners working silently in hell for their families.  “He’s got miner imperfections, blame it on his roots… but I saw his face light up when his grandchildren were born.” “The Flood” harness foreboding with “there is a storm brewing in the Southeast, grandmama feels it in her bones… what will you do when the lord calls?”

Keep going. A cover of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” hits the sweet spot in a delightful way. Every song is rich and hearty.

The entire album is a home run. This is one of those albums your heart will leap for, when it’s all that you hoped for when you tear off the plastic (or first queue it up in your headphones for an hour or so in your hammock.) It’s a “listen all the way through” work of art.  Charles Wesley Godwin is a great songwriter — timeless songs in moving timeless arrangements. 19 songs of powerful songs adds up to one of this year’s best albums.

Enjoy our previous coverage here: Key to the Highway: Charles Wesley Godwin

Find more information and tour dates on his website here:

The album was recorded by Julian Dreyer with Dowell Gandy assisting at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, NC (Track 13 was recorded by Al Torrence). It was mixed by Al Torrence at Music Garden Studios in New Brighton, PA with spatial audio mixed by Dustin Richardson.  It was mastered by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Sound in Nashville, TN.

Vocalists and musicians on the album are Joe Pinchotti on drums and percussion;
Al Torrence on bells, percussion, acoustic and electric guitars, nylon string guitar, slide guitar, Hammond B3, Moog synthesizer, Mellotron and backing vocals; Charles Wesley Godwin on Glockenspiel, acoustic guitar, vocals, and backing vocals; Nate Catanzarite on electric and upright bass; Read Connolly on banjo, dobro, lap steel, pedal steel, and backing vocals;  Max Somerville on percussion, Wurlitzer,  piano, Hammond B3, and backing vocals; Eric James on electric guitar, 12 string guitar, mandolin and backing vocals;  Tambo King on tambourine;  Bryce Rabideau on mandolin; Lucas Ruge-Jones on fiddle, trumpet, viola, and backing vocals;
and Nate Catanzarite,  Samantha Godwin, Lou Nice, Joe Pinchotti, and Reed Turner on backing vocals.


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