MUD FORK — Logan has had its share of celebrities — be they alive or dead. If you live in Logan County, you probably know that the boxer Jack Dempsey was born on Island Creek. Boling Baker was the legendary husband of Princess Aracoma, the daughter of Chief Cornstalk.
And let’s not forget the legendary Devil “Anse” Hatfield. Everyone in Logan knows about Mamie Thurman, even though her death will remain a mystery.
Logan also has its share of musical expertise. It’s home to Landau Murphy, who put Logan County on the map with his mellifluous voice on “America’s Got Talent.”
Now there’s a young man with a guitar named Brayden Williamson, whose song “Watching the Grass Grow” debuted at number nine on WorldWideBluegrass.com.
Williamson was born Nov. 14, 2002, in Charleston and lives in Mud Fork. He is currently a junior at Logan High School.
“I’m Logan proud!” Williamson said. “I started playing guitar when I was about 4 years old. I’m real church-oriented. I go around and sing at churches. I’ve started branching out, going to different places and stuff.”
The first time he heard a bluegrass recording was in his dad’s truck.
“He had an old cassette of a bluegrass song. It was actually a song by Larry Sparks. It’s called ‘Don’t Neglect the Rose.’ Hearing that song, it really touched me,” Williamson said. “I liked that, and I had a good guitar fill-in for it. Guitar’s my primary instrument. I’ve always liked rock ‘n’ roll, too. But rock ’n’ roll, you can’t really put your emotions into the sound that you’re wanting to get. An acoustic guitar is a lot different than plugging it into an amp or something. You can make your own sounds. That’s pretty much why I like bluegrass. You can put your feeling into it.”
Williamson believes there is a story behind the writing of “Watching the Grass Grow.“
“We were having a cookout one night at my house, and I had about 16 guys come up and play different instruments. I do that occasionally,” he said.
A friend and Williamson were talking about Rhonda Vincent, another bluegrass singer who also started playing when she was young.
“We were just talking about her, thinking about all the younger kids and how they’re starting to like this old traditional way of playing music,” he said. “There’s a term called ‘watching the grass grow.’ It’s similar to ‘watching the paint dry.’
“I came home from church in Harts Creek one day. There was a Facebook post by one of the DJs. That really touched me. I didn’t believe it at first.”
When asked about his future as a bluegrass and gospel singer, Williamson says he has a lot of plans.
“I need to get some permission first,” he added wryly, referring to his parents, who also act as his agents.
Williamson settled for the title because it had the word grass, like bluegrass.
“That’s what I wanted to name it,” he said.
One of Williamson’s dreams came true when he got to perform “Watching the Grass Grow” with his inspiration, Larry Sparks and his Lonesome Ramblers, on Aug. 20.
“It meant a lot to me,” Williamson said.
Besides playing the guitar, he can also play a mandolin and the banjo.
For more information or to request him to play at your church, visit Brayden Williamson on Facebook. His upcoming concerts will also be posted on Facebook.