Ags Connolly: One of Britain’s greatest country songwriters

Date/Time Sun 30 Jan 2022 7:45 PM

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A traditional country artist from the possibly incongruous surroundings of Oxfordshire, England, Ags Connolly is considered to be one of the best country singer-songwriters ever to emerge from the UK.

After attending a week-long songwriting workshop with the highly-respected US artist Darrell Scott, Ags began taking his own music seriously. A few years of playing live and honing his craft followed before Ags released his debut album How About Now in 2014, which led Country Music People to label him “an English Willie Nelson”. The album was also heralded as “a masterpiece” by Maverick magazine and brought him to the attention of cult US review site Saving Country Music, who declared that “Ags Connolly deserves to be considered right beside his Stateside counterparts as one of the carriers of the country music holy ghost”. Ags continued to progress as a live performer and opened for Rosanne Cash in 2015.

His second album, Nothin’ Unexpected, was released in 2017. Once again, Country Music People approved and called Ags “the best singer-songwriter in the country field that this country has ever turned out”. Among a string of rave reviews, John Godfrey from The Troubador Show labelled the album “the best country album to come out of the UK from the best ever UK country artist”.

Ags’ third album, Wrong Again, was released in November 2019 and was described by Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2 as “modern day traditionalism of the very, very best kind”. As with his previous two albums, Wrong Again was named Album of the Month by Country Music People magazine while being described by songwriting legend Tom Russell as “killer”. Meanwhile, US music publications Billboard and Glide Magazine respectively praised the “deep and emotive vocals” and branded the album “a must listen” for fans of “real deal country music”. In late 2020, it was named Album Of The Year at the UK Country Music Awards.

A constant presence on the UK, Ireland and European touring and festival circuit, Ags has built a reputation over the years as an uncompromising country traditionalist in the UK and beyond. In an era when the pop and rock incarnations of country music are enjoying a surge of popularity in the UK, Ags continues to defend the last outpost of the genre’s traditional roots.