Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters
On The Americana Music Show we loved the last Honeycutters record – On The Ropes. So the new release was awaited with great anticipation and it is a fine release. The songwriter, lead singer and producer, Amanda Anne Platt, has put her name in front of the band’s and it just about feels right as you listen to the album – Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters.
Platt crafts 13 songs, which deal with the inclinations of the heart, namely, lovers, bereavement, aging, seasons, leaving and just about most other emotions we all at some time share. Without attempting to label this clumsily, with a specific genre, then it sits perfectly within Americana but there are some Pop sensibilities and a lot of traditional Country and no little Singer Songwriter within. Platt can find a tune and express it exquisitely with a distinctive voice and a sympathetic band.
"Birthday Song" starts the album and Platt accepts another year passing but life is generally good and she recounts to her partner the reasons to be content.
Every time it gets colder I get another year older
I start looking for lines in the bathroom mirror
but when I lay down at night I swear I must have done something right
cause I’m still so damn glad to be here
Content? Well Platt seldom leaves the groove on the album that tells of heartache and reflection. Her wonderful lyrics seem to be an assessment of the people and circumstances that surround her to find the good bits. On The Ropes did spawn ‘Let’s Get Drunk’ a song you wouldn’t need to be a literature graduate to guess the mood of. This personal collection doesn’t attempt to let its hair down
“Learning How To Love Him’ is an interesting song about the sentiments of a newly widowed wife about her long marriage and the journey she made and shared. Holly Williams’ 2013 "Waiting On June" covered the same ground and it is worth revisiting. Against an achy acoustic guitar solo ballad she delivers words as brilliant as this:
‘Cause time is a gift that we all take for granted
til it’s running low and we understand
it’s not about your money or your best laid plans or your lists
I woke last night and I felt so afraid
I turned on the light, I shook him awake and we stared at the ceiling
listening to the sink drip
“Rare Thing" is a simple love song with a soaring chorus and tells of the treasure she’s found. For what it’s worth I could see this being covered. As a sucker for a pedal steel then "The Things We Call Home" is a treat and if you throw in a guitar with reverb and a honky tonk piano then I’m sold. This is a traditional Country song with a superb arrangement.
The band has all the components to make this a fine unit – Matt Smith’s pedal steel, Rich Cooper’s bass, Evan Martin’s keys and electric guitar and the drums and splendid harmony vocals of Josh Milligan.
I thought Margo Price’s 2016 commercial breakthrough was a morale boost for all the fledgling and hard working Americana bands grinding the hard miles and holding down two jobs to pursue the dream. I hope Platt and The Honeycutters are the next to get the recognition they certainly deserve.