Ian is lead singer of Three Rivers Band and previously fronted the country bands Alter States and The Southern Generals. He has promoted many different country (and blues) bands, including Ags Connolly and Gringo Star. In the past, he has hosted Turnpike Troubadours, Deadstring Brothers, Joni Harms, and Emily Barker.
Ags Connolly is a traditional country music artist from Oxfordshire in England. He is widely considered to be one of the best country singer-songwriters ever to emerge from the UK. Ags is on a run of European shows to support his fourth studio LP Siempre and will play Chelmsford’s Hot Box on 25 July.
Tom Russell, the songwriting legend whose songs have been recorded by other artists including none other than Johnny Cash, k.d. lang, Nanci Griffith, et al., described his music as “Killer… Ags has that old Lefty Frizzell feel in his voice”.
Ags Connolly: linking Oxfordshire with Texas
Siempre takes the glimmers of Texas border sounds heard on Ags’ previous records and merges them with Tejano music and bar-room waltzes. The LP also accommodates his honky tonk and singer-songwriter roots. “It’s best described as a Texas music album,” Ags explains. “Texas-style country is my favourite, and it takes many forms. I wanted to celebrate them all.”
Awards and (whispered) high praise
Country Music People named each of Ags’ first three albums – How About Now (2014), Nothin’ Unexpected (2017), and Wrong Again (2019) Album of the Month. The magazine stated Ags is: “the closest we’ve ever come to an English Willie Nelson”. It also wrote: “the best singer-songwriter in the country field that this country has ever turned out”. Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2 described Wrong Again as “modern-day traditionalism of the very, very best kind”. It received Album of the Year at the UK Country Music Awards.
Ags’ appearance is part of the regular Alter States Promotions country and Americana band nights. These are held on the last Tuesday of every month. Three Rivers Band provide regular support for the monthly headliners.
A quick search on Google Translate reveals that the Spanish word ‘siempre’ means ‘always’ in English. To your writer’s mind, this is apposite because discerning music lovers should ‘always’ make time to check out live music and help the various artists thrive and the scenes survive.