Yup. They’re a quartet. And they’re not from the mountains... The music, on the other hand, is not a joke. People often mention whiskey, brimstone, the Mississippi Delta and the Appalachian Mountains when they talk about their music. There are few bands who conjure the intensity of the original blues and folk music pioneers while uniting roots and rock audiences. The Agnostics are one of them.
Hollering, growling, and high, lonesome keening. Dueling slide guitars, tin can banjo, frenetic finger picking, sheet metal percussion, and pounding upright bass. That’s The Agnostics.
Critics drop adjectives like ‘punk’, and make comparisons with Tom Waits, and Captain Beefheart. The band maintain that the punk spirit was born in Delta and the mountains. Beefheart and Waits know that too.
Since 2001 The Agnostics have fostered a devoted following in their native Canada and garnered impressive reviews for their first two releases, ‘St. Hubert’ (2003) and ‘Fighting and Onions’ (2005). Word spread across the prairies and over the Atlantic. Mark Lamarr is a convert – they played two rambunctious BBC Radio 2 sessions for him – and so is the roots legend, Seasick Steve. After gigs together at the Open House Festival in Belfast in 2006 and 2007 Steve proclaimed them “my new favourite band.”
The band are coming down from that mythical mountain to preach their own special kinda gospel. From Calgary to Calvary.
“...thrilling and alarmingly authentic” 4/5 Uncut
“…an album that sounds as old as the hills and as deep and dark as the muddy Mississippi.” 4/5 The Independent
“It's a raw bare knuckle hillbilly feast of jangling banjos and gravel-voiced lyrics...If Robert Johnson was a hillbilly and listened to Tom Waits he may have sounded like this. ” Artrocker
“They take raw blues and beat it to a bloodied pulp...elemental and utterly compelling” Americana UK
“The demented sounds of fingers on wood and steel, the constant growls and the thump of the upright bass are at once well-worn and inimitable, particularly on the opening ‘Go Back Home’.” The Fly
“In the hands of these four white Calgary musicians, blues and roots music generally is a weapon of expression, harsh, unremitting, bleeding hearts and bleeding fingers, creating a tumult that rejoices in its rustic raucousness.” The Irish Times
“Ten Thousand is populated with an evocative rag-tag of brawlers, mad preachers and mountain-dwelling wild men. Shivers down the spine are guaranteed.” Metro
“Their raw mountain music, to be sung round the campfire with moonshine in the jar and taters in the skillet, is a real tonic for listeners bored with over-produced, soulless fodder. Sing along, loudly.” Daily Mirror