UK Ameripolitan singer-songwriter Ags Connolly released his critically lauded first album, How About You, in 2014 and on February 3rd debuted the eagerly awaited follow-up, Nothin’ Unexpected - which is nothing short of superb. Influenced by the likes of Dale Watson, Chris Knight, and David Allan Coe, Connolly merges Western Swing, Honky Tonk, Rockabilly and Latin melodies on the album which finds him assisted by The Mavericks’ Michael Guerra on accordion and Eamon McLoughlin on fiddle.
The intimate collection opens with “I Hope You’re Unhappy” whose danceable melodies counters the lyrics telling how someone who is heartbroken wishes the opposite of the best for a former lover, not because he’s angry, but because he wants her back in his arms. That’s followed by the Tex-Mex accordion-infused “Do You Realize That Now” an incredibly sincere and nostalgic ballad, and the gentle and impactful “When The Loner Gets Lonely” a song that pulls at the heartstrings of anyone who can relate to the title character, “And he likes it cause they know him by his face only…..it ain’t east to tell when the loner gets lonely.”
Whether swinging to the rockabilly melodies of “Neon Jail” and “Haunts Like This” or tapping along to the Spanish guitar in the reflective title track that recounts the changes in the town of his youth, “Most normal people just move on with their lives/And they don’t come back looking, trying to relive the past/Oh but some of us are dreamers can’t forget it so fast” Connolly showcases lyrics with depth and intensity whether it’s his own songs or a stunning rendition of Loudon Wainwright III’s “I Suppose” which with its shuffling melody, piano and steel which tells of the complexities of a guarded heart, “I could love you if I wasn’t so afraid I might go berserk if it didn’t work and I didn’t feel betrayed/I’ve been writing off love for so long now it’s all I know to do………If it’s real this thing we feel then yes I could love you.”
Nothin’ Unexpected is rounded out with three stories of love and loss. Highlighted by an emotive fiddle, “Fifteen Years” is a story of how “the toughest old stories” survive in relationships, “Slow Burner,” which features a subdued mandolin, finds him pondering the forces that worked against them “You’re a slow burner like a song you have to hear the whole way through/I’m a slow learner and I was too slow in learning about you” and the poignant “I Should’ve Closed the Book” whose words make the chest swell, “I didn’t consider I was wrong/I thought if you love someone enough it was meant to be/But I should have closed book on her before it closed on me.”
Connolly’s Nothin’ Unexpected is one of those rare albums where everything falls into place; its gorgeous production compliments the lyrics, melodies, and Connolly’s delivery allowing them to combine (and shine) in an album that is simply perfect.
In advance of their upcoming album, Greenbah, Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders released their latest single "Blood and Bones." A country-grunge-rocker about the ups and downs of relationships, the song is buoyed by an infectious drum beat, organ, and Robert's throaty delivery. Listen HERE.
"Sometimes I feel I wanna kill ya
Sometimes you make me so damn mad
Sometimes I say things I don't wanna
We're the same blood and bones you and I"014. The Rough Riders are back with their second album Go By Myself set to be released in October 2015./folk band.The Rough Riders released their debut album The Last of the Originals in August 2014. The Rough Riders are back with their second album Go By Myself set to be released in October 2015.
Fans of NBC’s “The Voice” will remember Jake Worthington as the 2014/ Season 6 Runner-Up. The 20 year old Texas native has a sound that is traditional country in both instrumentation and lyrics. He displays that sound well in his new single “A Lot of Room To Talk”, released to digital outlets on January 27th.
With a clever turn of phrase, heartwarming twang, and moving steel guitar, the song tells of heartbreak and regret following a failed relationship. The reverberation of angry words and missed opportunities surround him in the emptiness of the space he now occupies alone. “There’s an echo in this room. Just won’t let me be.” Things she tried to tell him that he didn’t hear then, he hears now and hopes to learn from so his past mistakes won’t be repeated in the future.
There’s a sweetness and nostalgia in the song that would be refreshing to hear on country radio more often. Visit his website at www.thejakeworthington.com to find out more about this promising artist and his music.