Charles Wesley Godwin Signs with Big Loud Records
One of the hottest up-and-coming artists in all of country music is now signed to the roster of one of the hottest labels in all of country music. Announced Wednesday afternoon (3-29), West Virginia native Charles Wesley Godwin has signed to Big Loud Records, which is the home of Morgan Wallen, Hardy, Ernest, Hailey Whitters, and others. Though officially an independent label, Big Loud has mainstream implications with its reach throughout the mainstream country music industry.
“I’m thrilled to partner up with Big Loud Records for this next chapter of my career. Their enthusiasm and belief in my music matches that of my family, friends, bandmates, and team,” says Charles Wesley Godwin. “Ultimately that is what is most important. It’s been an unbelievably good experience getting to know Seth (England), Nate (Yetton), and the entire Big Loud staff. I’m so excited for what’s ahead and can’t wait to share new music with the world.”
From when we initially heard Godwin though his band Union Sound Treaty, to his solo debut album Seneca in 2019 that put his West Virginia experience into song, 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.
Though previously unsigned to a label, Godwin has been working closely with True Grit Management for years, which is also the management company behind the success of Cody Jinks and others. “The most important thing to Charles was finding a partner who would fully support his artistic vision. Big Loud is clearly committed to that and their passion for Charles’ music is unmatched,” says True Grit Management founder Arthur Penhallow Jr. “We look forward to working with them during this exciting next phase of his career.”
The word around country music was that Charles Wesley Godwin was highly sought after by a number of labels after seeing his swelling fan base and the explosion of peers like Zach Bryan and Cody Jinks. Big Loud and the Morgan Wallen/Hardy/Ernest troika isn’t exactly what you think of when you think independent country and Appalachia authenticity, and one of Big Loud’s founders is producer Joey Moi who was the mastermind behind Florida Georgia Line, Hardy, and now Morgan Wallen. The label also has artists that don’t fit the mainstream mold, though have enjoyed mainstream recognition like Hailey Whitters and Larry Fleet.
“We’re honored to be partnering with Charles Wesley Godwin in this capacity,” Big Loud Partner / CEO Seth England says. “I first heard about Charles last year from my brother Eric; fatefully, the timing aligned perfectly with when our company was exploring endeavors in alternative genres, branching out into Americana, indie, folk, roots, and more. I was blown away immediately by Charles’ undeniable talent, grit, songwriting ability, and distinct perspective; it truly sets him apart. Big Loud is excited to stand proudly with him and his team as we launch a new chapter for our company and bring this body of music to the world.”
But Charles Wesley Godwin shouldn’t be considered as an “alternative” to anything. Sure, his music also aligns with folk and roots. But as Zach Bryan and others have proven, the alternative is becoming the mainstream in country. There is no reason that Godwin’s music shouldn’t be considered ready for the big time, and hopefully Big Loud realizes this as well, and puts the right amount of backing behind Godwin’s music to make that happen.
Stay tuned for more information on Charles Wesley Godwin’s debut on Big Loud Records.
March 29, 2023 @ 11:57 am
Trigger, have you noticed artists sound changing after signing with a major label? I know in the past this has happened. I know Jamey Johnsons first album was this way. They made him shave and shelved a lot of his songs. I just hope that isn’t what happens to Godwin.
March 29, 2023 @ 12:16 pm
I am choosing to be optimistic about this signing. I don’t see Big Loud trying to change Godwin’s sound or veering heavily into creative control. Charles and his manager Arthur Penhallow are too smart and shrewd to allow that to happen. But it is important to recognize that this is very much a mainstream label that has controlled the direction of much of post “Bro-Country” country music with their roster.
My biggest concern was the Big Loud CEO saying Godwin was “alternative” and “Americana.” Screw that. Charles Wesley Godwin is country, and needs to be heard on every mainstream country radio station in America, and headlining festivals. That is why he’s signing to Big Loud, and Big Loud’s job is to make that happen.
March 29, 2023 @ 1:35 pm
Thank you sir! When I read that its a label associated with FGL and Morgan Wallen I instantly cringed. It sounds like his manager is legit.
It seems the definition of country music has changed because of the mainstream bro country. Anytime I say I am a country fan I have to preface it with “real”. Otherwise folks assuming I am talking about mainstream country.
You are 100% spot on, Godwin is “real” country and it would be great if he reaches the masses and changes the narrative of what country music really is. It’s like the change from the 80’s pop country to what came out in the 90’s. The trends drive this stuff, and it seems that is finally trending back in the right direction again.
March 29, 2023 @ 11:57 am
Fingers crossed…this label needs a talent like CWG way more than CWG needs it. Hope this doesn’t compromise his sound and, more importantly, his integrity.
March 29, 2023 @ 12:05 pm
“ From when we initially heard Godwin though his band Union Sound Treaty”
Wasn’t his first band called Vandalia?
March 29, 2023 @ 1:28 pm
Union Sound Treaty was the first time I found out about Charles Wesley Godwin and featured him here on Saving Country Music. These days, a lot of folks love to claim they knew about Godwin before everyone else, but 99% of folks found out about Vandalia, AND Union Sound Treaty for that matter, retrospectively after becoming Charles Wesley Godwin fans. No disrespect to Vandalia, but Union Sound Treaty was the project that put Godwin on the national map.
March 29, 2023 @ 1:30 pm
Completely agree. Your review of UST was what put him on my radar in the first place. Coincidentally, I discovered Vandalia over the weekend.
March 29, 2023 @ 12:20 pm
So is he going to go all Pat Green on us and crush our hearts or will he stand firm….. we will have what to watch for sure. I’m carefully optimistic.
March 29, 2023 @ 12:37 pm
a month or so ago someone commented on a Morgan Wallen instagram post that Morgan sucked compared to Zach Bryan. Morgan actually responded, “he’s alright but im more of a charles wesley godwin fan” Maybe a little foreshadowing there.
March 29, 2023 @ 1:15 pm
So what you’re saying is we can expect a collab between him and CWG in the future?
March 29, 2023 @ 1:29 pm
March 29, 2023 @ 3:26 pm
I saw what Morgan replied too. I figured there had to be more meaning behind it and here it is. I’m excited for CWG and I don’t think he would carelessly choose a label or choose one just to be popular. Big Loud must be committed to keeping his sound. I think Seth England posted he heard CWG’s 3rd album already and called it a masterpiece.
March 29, 2023 @ 2:53 pm
Welp. There’s probably some the worst music news of the year thus far.
I’d never begrudge a man for doing what he thinks is best for his family. But for that bunch to get their tentacles on him is unfortunate, to say the least.
I just hope they don’t fix what isn’t broke, and keep Moi the hell away from him.
March 29, 2023 @ 3:42 pm
Good for CWG. I hope he becomes the global superstar he deserves to be (and our little clique is proven to possess prophetic powers).
March 29, 2023 @ 4:22 pm
For anyone worried that CWG is selling out or changing his sound, check out these sneak peeks he’s posted from his new album
March 29, 2023 @ 8:09 pm
Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been putting off on buying Seneca on vinyl. I just did before he blows up and it gets sold out everywhere. Good for him. He deserves it.
March 29, 2023 @ 9:02 pm
Good for him! Charles Wesley Godwin is the future of country music!
March 30, 2023 @ 1:05 am
Good for Charles hopefully he stays true to himself, and maybe this move will inspire people like Isbell to move to more major labels
March 30, 2023 @ 1:14 am
…good news for mr. goodwin. on the subject of trigger’s theory that “the alternative is becoming the mainstream in country”, i should like to disagree quite a bit . the difference between nashville mainstream country music and the rest is the fact that any good “alternative” requires listening (with some degree of concentration), whereas mainstream productions just have to be able catch your attention at any given time, place or moment with some kind of a hook. furthermore, in this so-called “alternative” field quite often the hook is the artist/talent him-/herself in the first place actually. fair enough, if they’re able to produce a memorable melody or interesting enough lyrics – all the better and even more enjoyable. yet that doesn’t make them anything like mainstream nor conquering it. they simply have manange(d) to appeal to a wider audience with some remarkable tune or body of work – like thirty-something songs on one album by zach bryan recently. i don’t see the “alternative” becoming the mainstrean really. then again, there is an indication of a widening appeal of some “alternative” artists beyond their home turf. but that has always been the case in popular music – willie nelson, bob dylan, anybody?. perhaps, it is rather like the mainstream is happily embracing the currently existing alternatives more, which would be good news for anybody concerned.
March 30, 2023 @ 7:59 am
Presenting something as “alternative” is to say that it deserves to be in some other class compared to mainstream country. This often is how “Americana” is used as well. Obviously, I understand there are sonic differences still between much of mainstream music and “alternative” music. But with Zach Bryan and Tyler Childers continuing to dramatically outsell 90% of the “mainstream,” and headlining major festivals, and folks like the Turnpike Troubadours and Billy Strings selling out arenas, there is nothing “alternative” about it. These are mainstream artists with mainstream draw and sales.
March 30, 2023 @ 5:01 am
CWG is the real deal, and I hope this proves good for him and his (awesome) band. We have been fortunate to see him in concert 5 times, and talked to him after each one. First time was in Pineville KY at the Bell Theater several years ago, we were both struck by how humble and down to earth he was. I even asked him at one of those shows if he wanted to have a national stage, or was he happy with doing what he was doing – his response was interesting, basically said whatever happened happened, was pretty laid back about it. But, he deserves a wider audience – no doubt about it.
We’ve been rooting for him for a long time.
March 30, 2023 @ 8:18 am
Do you predict that CWG will have success to ZB (I.e. major crossover hits and success on mainstream country radio)?
March 30, 2023 @ 9:55 am
I personally don’t. I have seen CWG several times now. He is good, but he has never really commanded a performance or blown me away with the “It” factor some artists have. For whatever reason, ZB has the extra something people latch too.
April 1, 2023 @ 5:29 pm
I’ve seen CWG live for years, since he was doing free solo gigs for rooms of a dozen people or so where you could hear a pin drop one minute and a crowd sing-along the next. He’s had the “it” factor from day one and, most importantly, the drive to succeed.
I’ve never understood the comparison with ZB other than the fact that they’ve toured together and are of similar age. Their styles are totally different to my ears. Different strokes for different folks I guess. No disrespect to ZB or his fans, but that artist does nothing for me. Given the choice, I’ll always prefer CWG.
April 3, 2023 @ 7:09 am
I’m not comparing them. Just answered the question whether I think he will see the same success as ZB. I personally like CWG, but I don’t think he is ever going to hit that level of success.