Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters
Thoughtful and Articulate Small Town Country Music.
While not really the most enticing Album cover you’ve ever seen; the photographer in me was actually drawn to the picture on the cover of Amanda Anne Platt’s fourth album; as it’s the type of ‘washed out’ photography I myself am experimenting with at the moment.
And, to some degree; and I doubt it’s by accident, that imagery actually gives you a feel of the lived-in Blue-Collar, small town Country music within the grooves of the disc that follows.
Amanda’s pearlescent voice slides gracefully from the speakers on the opening track Birthday Song; which isn’t the normal happy-clappy song the title would suggest; this is a woman looking backwards and forwards in equal measure and wondering what she has achieved and what the world holds for her in the future. We’ve all been there; and Amanda tells her story with style and elegance.
Long Ride follows and the mood doesn’t get much happier. The band sound wrapped as tight as a drum while Amanda pleads with her lover to stick on in there for ‘the long ride;’ and the pedal-steel and piano combine to add enough poignancy to bring a tear to a glass eye.
There are days when I’m staggered that a songwriter can still find a new angle on the age old story of a ‘tired relationship’ and boy does Amanda Anne have a way with words; Learning How To Love Him, finds her accompanying herself on acoustic guitar on a deeply moving song, that reminded me of Jeannie C Riley and Loretta, all those years ago.
Brand New Start is a similar sorry tale but played out to a Waltz beat and is as Country a Country Song as you will hear this year.
The first time I heard Guitar Case and The Good Guys (Dick Tracy) I thought they sounded a bit ‘old fashioned’ which is odd (and wrong!) as they fit in perfectly with the type of songs I love by ‘Ameripolitan’ artists like Sturgill Simpson and Sam Outlaw; so why can’t a lady fit into that sphere? Well, Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters can; and do stand side by side with those guys; but without the Trucker Cap.
Don’t fret, there are toe-tappers here too with Eden and the delightful Late Summer’s Child being a touch more up-tempo and ‘happier’ especially the latter (which is Mrs. Magpie’s favourite song here).
The band here are outstanding from start to finish and Amanda Anne has an spectacular vocal style, ‘pearlescent’ as I described it earlier; but it’s the songwriting that stands out here with two songs that I will choose as ‘RMHQ Favourites’……The Things We Called Home is 100% pure Honky Tonk and timeless; while Amanda and the band straddle the divide between Country and Alt like a tightrope walker on the rattlingly good ‘every-man song’ Diamond in the Rough.
In it’s own heartache drenched way, this has been a joy from start to finish……pure darn Country too; but real down-home Country that we now have to refer to as Ameripolitan; but it is what we know as COUNTRY MUSIC…..pure and simple.
Released UK August 4th 2017
Released US August 28th 2017