With their latest album (released June 9th), Amanda Anne Platt and The Honeycutters - Matt Smith (pedal steel, Stratocaster), Rick Cooper (bass), Josh Milligan (drums) and Evan Martin (keys, Telecaster) - further refine and define their sound on thirteen tracks that are as universal as they are personal. In advance of a busy summer, which includes a trip to the UK, Platt graciously took some time to talk about the album and more
With this record, you’ve stepped out front and center, using your own name. Why did you feel now was the right time to do that?
We’d talk about it with every album and this one stuck out because it’s the first time that I’m now officially the only original member of the band left. The band has grown and our sound has become more defined, but the constants have always been that they’re my songs and I’m singing them, so doing it now made sense.
Once again you co-produced the album with Tim Surrett. The two of you seem to have a really great working relationship in the studio.
We do. Because Tim's not involved in actually playing on the record, he’s a good set of ears to let us know whether something is working or not.
Being that you’re a very prolific writer, when you pulled songs for this record, how far back did you go?
A lot were recent writes, probably in the last year, but “Brand New Start” is older, at least four or five years; and the last two songs I started a long time ago, but ended up finishing in the last couple of years.
The last two songs are the pairing of "The Things We Call Home" and “The Road”. Why did you choose to close out the album with “The Road?”
When I think about structuring an album, I like to have a quieter, reflective song on the end. "The Road" is a good farewell song, so it made sense to place it there.
And the opener is "Birthday Song" [which Platt wrote the day before her 30th], which to me can signify not only an actual birthday, but also starting anew, especially with the name change….or maybe I’m reading too much into it.
Sometimes I don’t read enough into what I’m writing, so the fact that it’s about accepting change and where you are in life could definitely tie into that. Let’s go with that (laughing).
Sounds good to me!
"Diamond in the Rough" is my favorite track right now. I especially love the line “everybody wants to be somebody somebody could love.”
I wanted to write something that was upbeat and felt good to play. The first verse I got started on after I had been to a concert. The performer was super smiley and the audience was worshiping him and I just thought that his life must be perfect, but then there’s that line “If you have a heart every now and then you’re gonna have a little heartache” and I think that’s true. We’re all coming from a place of wanting, but we aren’t going to get that affirmation all the time. The song is a reminder to be kind, which I think is really important right now.
There's also a touching love song, “Rare Thing”, which someone asked you to write for their wife.
A guy got in touch with me saying that he had an idea to write a song for his wife and a plan for how to go about it. It sounded intriguing to me and so over the next two months, he would send me stories from their life together to use for the song. He brought her to our concert, which was really a concert that he orchestrated for her, and we played that song second to last and she just cried. It was a really cool thing to be a part of a big celebration of love with friends, family, and neighbors.
How incredibly special.
Later this summer, you will be traveling to Europe for the first time, which must be very exciting. You and the band are currently in the midst of a fundraiser to help defray the costs.
In August, we’re going on our first overseas excursion to the UK. We’re having a fundraiser on the website to help purchase the plane tickets for the five of us. We have levels of rewards, like handwritten lyrics or t-shirts, for people who pledge the campaign, which will be going through at least the 14th of June. We’re very close to our goal and we’re optimistic that we’ll make it.
We’re really excited about going over. Our past couple albums were distributed in the UK, so hopefully, there will be some fans there.
I truly don't think you will have to worry about that.
Finally, I always like to know if there is one recent album that you cannot stop listening to and suggest others check out?
I was given Bill Scorzari’s new album and it has been stuck in the cd player. I gotta say, I’m really into it, especially the first two songs. I listen to them over and over.
For more information on Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters visit HERE
Find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify
Purchase their music HERE
6/16 Fri - Voices In The Valley Concert Series - Peninsula, OH
6/17 Sat - The Ark - Ann Arbor, MI
6/18 Sun - Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza - Worthington, OH
6/21 Wed - Abilene Bar and Lounge - Rochester, NY
6/22 Thu - Sportsmen’s Tavern - Buffalo, NY
6/23 Fri - Cathedral Café - Fayetteville, WV
7/14 Fri - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA * w/ Amy Ray Band (of The Indigo Girls)
7/19 Wed - Taos Mesa Brewing - El Prado, NM
7/21 Fri - Telluride Americana Music Fest & Songwriter Showcase at Sheridan Opera House - Telluride, CO
7/22-23 Sat-Sun - Mountain Rails Live - Alamosa, CO
8/4 Fri - Plough Arts Centre - Great Torrington
8/5 Sat - Tumbleweed at Seven Arts - Leeds
8/6 Sun - Saltburn Arts - Saltburn-by-the-Sea
8/8 Tue - Performing Arts Centre - Kilbarchan
8/9 Wed - Private function - Edinburgh
8/10 Thu - Fringe by The Sea - North Berwick
8/11 Fri - Eastgate Theatre - Peebles
8/12 Sat - Jumpin Hot Country Cantina at Acklington Village Hall - Acklington, Northumberland
8/13 Sun - Woodend Gallery - Scarborough
8/16 Wed - Green Note - London
8/17 Thu -Union Music Store at Con Club - Lewes
8/18 Fri - Square & Compass - Worth Matravers
8/19 Sat - Town Hall Live @ Kirton in Lindesy - Lincs
8/20 Sun - American Museum - Bath (afternoon)