Do you feel that? It’s that distinctive tingling deep in your bones that you get whenever you know one of your favorite music artists is on the precipice of something monumental. This feeling accompanies the news of Charles Wesley Godwin’s mammoth upcoming 19-song major label debut called Family Ties, due out on September 22nd via Big Loud Records.
Ahead of the album, four new songs have also been released: “All Again,” “Family Ties,” “Cue Country Roads,” and “West of Lonesome.” A music video for “All Again” has also been released (see below). The prolific release of new songs comes after a time when Godwin was initially stonewalled and unsure what to write about.
“I had to get back to the basics,” Godwin says. “I decided I was going to write about my life and my family. It’s where my heart was guiding me: to be super personal and dig right into the weeds of my life … All it was was just a matter of time and continued grinding.”
Some were rendered worried when Godwin first announced he’d signed to the same label as Morgan Wallen and HARDY. Big Loud also happens to be partly owned by producer Joey Moi of Florida Georgia Line and Nickelback fame. But there will be no incorporation into the mainstream sound via Family Ties. In fact, the entire album was recorded before the Big Loud deal even came about.
Godwin first demoed the songs for Family Ties on a 4-track machine similar to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, and then brought them into what he calls his dream studio, Echo Mountain in Asheville, North Carolina. Joey Moi didn’t produce the album like a lot of Big Loud artists. Instead Godwin tapped the lead guitarist in his backing band The Allegheny High, Al Torrence, and recorded the album with the rest of his road band.
As Godwin says, the songs of Family Ties come from a very personal place. Folks who’ve seen him perform live recently might already be familiar with the song “The Flood” about pondering risking your own life to save your kin. Godwin says he wrote the song for his mother. Another song “Miner Imperfections” was written for Godwin’s father. “Dance in Rain” is for his daughter, and “Willing and Able” is for his wife.
All the 19 tracks were written by Charles Wesley Godwin himself, except for a couple co-written with Zach McCord. Godwin also recorded a version of “Take Me Home, Country Roads” made popular by John Denver that is his current epic live show closer.
From when we initially heard Godwin though his band Union Sound Treaty, to his solo debut album Seneca in 2019, Charles Wesley Godwin has proved himself to be one of the preeminent members of the new resurgence of authentic voices from the Appalachian region. Godwin’s 2021 album How The Mighty Fall upped the ante even more, and touring regularly as an opener for Zach Bryan over the last few years has dramatically expanded Godwin’s name recognition and fan base.
No word if Alex P. Keaton will be making an appearance on the album, but it is available for pre-save/pre-order.
1. “Tell the Babies I Love Them (Overture)” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
2. “Family Ties” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
3. “Miner Imperfections” (Charles Wesley Godwin, Zach McCord)
4. “The Flood” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
5. “All Again” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
6. “Gabriel” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
7. “Dance in Rain” (Charles Wesley Godwin, Zach McCord)
8. “Another Leaf” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
9. “That Time Again” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
10. “Skyline Blues” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
11. “West of Lonesome” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
12. “Headwaters” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
13. “10-38” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
14. “Two Weeks Gone” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
15. “Soul Like Mine” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
16. “Willing and Able” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
17. “Cue Country Roads” (Charles Wesley Godwin)
18. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” (Taffy Nivert Danoff, William Danoff, John Denver)
19. “By Your Side (Underture)” (Charles Wesley Godwin)