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MIKE AND THE MOONPIES (USA)

Ags Connolly

Monday 3rd April 2023
The Bodega, Nottingham
Doors: 7:30pm
Begins: 8:15pm

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For a band that regularly plays 250 shows a year, there's nothing like coming back home.

‘One To Grow On,’ the eighth studio album from Mike and the Moonpies, is a musical homecoming that returns the group to its roots as a workingman's country band. Layered with Telecaster twang, honky tonk harmonies and lyrics that highlight the Everyman's struggle to remain optimistic during a 9-to-5 world, this is organic music for dancehalls and car stereos — a soundtrack for the mid-week blues, shot through with weekend energy.

For more than a decade, Harmeier and his band of hard-touring road warriors — pedal steel player Zach Moulton, guitarist Catlin Rutherford, bassist Omar Oyoque and drummer Kyle Ponder — have travelled far beyond their Austin homeland, flying the flag for home-grown Texas music in more than a dozen countries. They've become global ambassadors of a blue-collar country sound, striking a balance between timeless influences and cool, contemporary appeal. Along the way, they've stretched their legs, following the breakthrough success of 2018's Steak Night at the Prairie Rose with records like 2019's Cheap Silver & Solid Country Gold (an album inspired by the classic countrypolitan hits of the early 1970s, recorded at Abbey Road Studios with help from the London Symphony Orchestra) and 2020's Touch of You: The Lost Songs of Gary Stewart (a collection of nine unreleased songs written by the honky-tonk hero).

When the COVID-19 pandemic brought the Moonpies' busy schedule to a halt, Harmeier found himself back home in Austin, inspired to return to the sound that had launched his band's career. He didn't need to look far for ideas.

Co-produced with longtime collaborator Odor and recorded at Yellow Dog Studios in Wimberley, Texas, ‘One To Grow On’ kicks off with "Paycheck to Paycheck," an anthem for hardscrabble living. Driven forward by fiery fretwork, breakneck tempos, and vocal harmonies from Shiny Soul Sisters' Alice Spencer and Kelley Mickwee, the song serves as a primer for what's to come — the wild west atmospherics of "Whose Side Are You On," the greasy funky-tonk of "The Vein," and everything in between. Shooter Jennings makes a pair of appearances, playing synthesizer on songs like "Social Drinkers," while former Moonpie John Carbone returns to the fold to play keyboards throughout the album. Three members of fellow Texas-based outfit Quaker City Night Hawks join the band on "Burn Out," an autobiographical country-rocker that closes 'One To Grow On' by focusing not upon the character Harmeier has created, but upon the narrator himself.

AGS CONNOLLY:
“A national treasure” – Country Music People

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

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. He has shared stages with artists such as Rosanne Cash, Dale Watson, Jim Lauderdale, Corb Lund, The Cactus Blossoms and Jimmy LaFave.

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.
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£16.50
inc. fees • £1.50 Booking fee
£15.00 Face value
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Venue information

The Bodega
Pelham Street
Nottingham
Nottinghamshire
UK
NG12ED

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