Sometimes a band catches you by surprise with their music. You hear a song on the radio, on the internet, or in a tv show, and you’re hooked. Other times a friend, author, or website will refer you to a band. These are both relatively normal ways to hear about a band and come to appreciate their music, but they’re not the only ways. In rare cases it’s something else that turns you onto a great band. Sometimes you’re trolling random eastern European message boards looking for bands when a name catches your eye. Since the page is in a language you can’t understand you don’t know anything about them except their name. But what a name it is. So you look them up, track down some videos on YouTube, listen to some music, and you’re hooked. This is precisely how I found The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir.
Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, The Agnostic Gospel Choir is not actually a choir, and they don’t sing gospel music. What they actually play is a mix of country, bluegrass, blues, and general rowdiness. They’re obviously steeped in these musical traditions, but not necessarily beholden to any of them. They do their own thing, and they do it well. With a straightforward lineup of vocals, banjo, guitar, stand up bass, and drums, their music isn’t complicated, but it’s very effective.
From their debut album, 2006’s Fighting and Onions, “Preaching Blues” is pretty straightforward slide blues. It’s unpretentious, raw, a little bit messy, and it draws me in like a fly to shit.
“Never Be Dead”
From their latest release, Ten Thousand, from 2008.
“Empire State Express”