The second album from traditional country singer-songwriter Ags Connolly has been in the works for some time, being released, as it will be, three years after his debut ‘How About Now’. A notoriously slow songwriter, Ags wanted to present a selection of songs that would appeal to his existing followers and also catch the ear of the uninitiated.
The opener ‘I Hope You’re Unhappy’ is in the classic Texas honky tonk style that is associated with Ags, mixing as it does melancholic, slightly ironic lyrics with an undeniably danceable melody. This style is evident elsewhere on the album in the songs ‘Neon Jail’ and ‘Haunts Like This’. A new direction though, is found on the Tex-Mex flavours of ‘Do You Realise That Now’ and the title track, ‘Nothin’ Unexpected’, which use accordion and fiddle to give that unmistakable south-of-the-border texture. Clearly, Ags’ influences are far-reaching and this is also illustrated by his cover of Loudon Wainwright III’s ‘I Suppose’, presented here in an old-school country form. In addition to all of this, Ags displays his singersongwriter sensibilities with sparse ballads like ‘When The Loner Gets Lonely’, ‘Fifteen Years’ and the closer ‘I Should’ve Closed The Book’. The building, drum-free ‘Slow Burner’ shows a different side yet again.
Born, raised and still residing in rural West Oxfordshire, Ags discovered country music late. Already a student of lyrics and songwriting, he soon realised he was on a path there was no turning back from. His latest album continues down that path, and stays as straight and true to it as ever.
“This second album has taken me a while to put together, following on from my debut in 2014. I wanted to ensure it met people’s expectations while also evolving from ‘How About Now’. It was great to have producer Dean Owens and the same superb musicians on board again, not to mention contributions from The Mavericks’ Michael Guerra on accordion and Grand Ole Opry staff member Eamon McLoughlin on fiddle. I believe in the strength of the songs and I’m excited about how these guys helped bring them to life. I hope you will be too.“