Charles Wesley Godwin has released “Coal Country,” a new song from his forthcoming debut album, Seneca.
Over delicately fingerpicked guitar, lap steel and a gentle chorus of backing singers, Godwin sings earnestly about the ups and downs of the coal industry in his home state of West Virginia.
As the son of a coal worker, the singer-songwriter is particularly well-placed to give empathetic insight into the rural, coal-mining life. “Coal Country” is “my best attempt to articulate, through music, the mixed bag of good and bad that [the coal industry has] brought to us,” he told The Bluegrass Situation, which premiered the track.
“On one hand, it has given economic mobility to countless families, including my own, in the 20th and 21st centuries and it has contributed greatly to the economic strength of the United States these many years. On the other hand, it has also taken the lives of thousands of miners, scarred the land, and has a somewhat dark history of companies taking advantage of workers and violating their rights.”
Seneca is out February 15. Hear the song below: