Meet the 21-year old from Logan who’s turning heads in Nashville

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

Brayden Williamson started playing the guitar when he was 11. He received no formal training; it just came naturally to him as a young man growing up in Logan, West Virginia. 

He wrote his first song at age 16. Titled “Watching’ the Grass Grow,” it shot to #1 on the bluegrass charts. 

“I produced and recorded it myself,” he remembers. “I was blessed to have some great people in my corner.” 

One of those people in Brayden’s corner was Vic Gabany, a legendary music engineer who worked at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville for 23 years. Gabany worked with country music legends such as Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, and the Oak Ridge Boys. 

Gabany is originally from Logan, so when he heard Brayden’s music…it was a natural fit. 

“We did our first session together at Eagle Canyon Studios in Lebanon, Tennessee,” Brayden says. “That was when I was 17. It was all original songs. That opened the opportunities to Nashville.”

Brayden has a full slate of concert dates planned for the rest of 2023, which you can find on his website. But he’s especially proud to be playing at a legendary Nashville venue, The Station Inn. 

“One day last year when I was in class, I got a call from The Station Inn down in Nashville,” he says. “They said we like that you’re keeping traditional country music alive and doing original songs, and they wanted to book me for my own show.”

It’s the latest in a series of dreams come true for the budding country music singer from small-town West Virginia. 

Brayden also became a member of the Country Music Association, which holds special meaning for him. 

“I wanna always be known as keeping country music alive,” he shares. “It’s the greatest music on earth. If you go back and learn the history, it’s amazing how it started from nothing and it became what it did. I see a really good revival for this country music with gospel and bluegrass coming back.”

Brayden sings original songs in addition to covers of songs performed by his heroes in coutnry music. 

“No matter where I’m at, you’ll hear me do a Merle Haggard song,” he says. “Keith Whitley is a big influence to me. Gene Watson is somebody that I am highly influenced by for vocals. That’s a guy that really has the best vocals that shows you how a country artist can sound. He’s spot on.”

Brayden isn’t in this alone. He is quick to share the credit for his early success with his band. 

“My band is as much a part of this as I am,” he says. “All of them are older gentlemen in their 60s. I want people who grew up with this music who know what’s going on. I feel comfortable having them in my band. They’re retired so they can go anywhere they need to.”

With Brayden and his band on the road all the time, you might think he was devoting all his time to music. While it certainly is his passion and priority, his education is important to him as well. 

“I’m taking the nursing program to be a Registered Nurse,” he says of his program at Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College in Logan. “That’s all goin’ well. Once I’m completed with my nursing degree, I’ll go on and get my nurse practicioner’s certification.” 

For now, it’s full steam ahead on his music career while also pursuing his education. Brayden is already making an impact, reaching more than 10 million people on social media with his music in 2023. 

“God’s always blessed me,” he says. “I give all the credit to God.”

Brayden Williamson is a rising country music singer from Logan, WV, who is turning heads in Nashville.
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