Well damn, the summer of 2021 didn’t exactly turn out like we all had planned. But country music is the crutch we all lean on when times get tough, or heartbreak and disappointment creeps into our lives. So here’s a newly-freshened selection of some the best country stuff.
Charles Wesley Godwin
From when we initially heard him though his first band Union Sound Treaty, to his solo 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.
Just like Tyler Childers, Arlo McKinley, John R. Miller, and others from the depressed regions of Kentucky and West Virginia, Charles Wesley Godwin’s stories are forged through the authenticity of a local experience, but are worthy of being enjoyed by an international audience.
2019 was a stacked year for top live performances. This was supposed to be a list of the top 10 live performances, but due to such a crowded field, things boiled over. And yes, there are three #1 acts. All should be considered equals at the very top level of live performance. They were all so great, it seemed unfair to put one over the other.
Amanda Shires, Billy Strings, Bri Bagwell, Cedric Burnside, Charles Wesley Godwin, Courtney Marie Andrews, Jack Ingram, Kaitlin Butts, Logan Ledger, Lukas Nelson, MIke and the Moonpies, Raul Malo, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sierra Ferrell, Tami Neilson, The Brother Brothers, The Mavericks, The Tender Things, Tyler Childers, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Yola
When it comes to top-tier releases in the country and roots realm, 2019 was a year like we’ve never seen before. Though it feels like we say that every year, 2019 truly was exceptional. The albums selected to be considered for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year are so elite, all of them should be considered the winners.
Aaron Watson, Caroline Spence, Chane Smith and the Saints, Charles Wesley Godwin, Charlie Marie, Chris Knight, Cody Jinks, Croy and the Boys, Emily Scott Robinson, Erin Enderlin, Ian Noe, Jason Hawk Harris, Michaela Anne, MIke and the Moonpies, The Steel Woods, Tyler Childers
The 2019 installment of AmericanaFest seemed especially packed with top-level talent, and both Emily Scott Robinson and Charles Wesley Godwin made the trek to Nashville hoping to put renewed interest behind their 2019 efforts. And like their albums, they both stood out in the crowded field of country and roots music performers and hopefuls.
An album is something you listen to. A song is something that can change a life. The places a song can take you, the realizations and perspectives it can impart, the way it can touch something inside of you to make you feel something you never have before, or haven’t felt for a long time is the reason we cherish music so much.
As we get to the halfway pole in the musical year, it’s time to look back and asses the best albums that have been released in 2019 so far. At the moment, 2019 feels very top loaded with stellar releases. It has also been a very busy year for releases in regards to volume, though much more hit and miss when it comes to quality.
When you hear an artist like Charles Wesley Godwin sing, there is no need to power cycle your sense of disbelief. The sinewy roots of West Virginia’s hardscrabble existence seem to be intertwined with Godwin’s synapses and muscle tissue, almost as if he’s a construct of the land itself, like a scrub tree clinging to life.
2019 is here ladies and gentlemen, and soon your ears will have a fresh new bounty of new releases in the country, roots, and Americana world to feast upon. In such a crowded landscape and with so many releases to choose from, having a road map certainly helps. So in that spirit, here are Saving Country Music’s top picks.
Aaron Watson, Alice Wallace, Charles Wesley Godwin, Cody Johnson, Dale Watson, Flatland Cavalry, George Strait, Hayes Carll, Joshua Ray Walker, Randy Houser, Ray Charles, Ryan Bingham, The Cactus Blossoms, The Steel Woods, Yola
As we get near the end of the year and the amount of new releases begins to slow down, it allows us to look forward at what might be ahead for 2019. One artist and album that is already emerging to be on the lookout for is Charles Wesley Godwin’s ‘Seneca’ that is due to be released on February 15th, 2019.