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From the Appalachian Mountain of West Virginia, to the Rocky Mountains of Telluride, Colorado, Charles Wesley Godwin’s music resonates off the peaks and fills the valleys with the music of the people. On Thursday (6-15), Godwin was one of the artists chosen to help open the legendary Telluride Bluegrass Festival on its 50th Anniversary—a bucket list moment for any artist who cites bluegrass as an influence.
“I’ve never played a place more beautiful, and I’ve played The Ryman,” Godwin said from the stage. Charles and his band The Allegheny High turned in a rousing set of Appalachian country music, with Godwin admitting he probably didn’t have the guitar chops to hold his own with some of the flatpickers set to take the stage. But he made up for it with his songwriting that won over the notoriously distinguishing and attentive Telluride crowd.
Godwin turned to a cover song to finish his set though—his signature take on “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Godwin also mentioned during the set that he has a new album coming out, probably in January, and played a new song he’s been featuring live called “Family Ties.” Godwin recently signed to Big Loud Records.
But Godwin wasn’t done performing on the weekend after the left the stage. The primary mode of transportation in Telluride is the isolated mountain town’s gondola system, taking folks back and forth to the Mountain Village portion of town. Godwin saw an opportunity for a picturesque and distinctly Telluride moment to take a gondola ride, and record a version of his song “Over Yonder.”