On Sunday evening, Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters put on a wonderfully enjoyable show at Washington, DC’s Hill Country BBQ. Taking the stage at 7:30, the Asheville, NC-based country-rock quintet (Amanda Anne on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Matt Smith on pedal steel and Stratocaster, Rick Cooper on bass, Josh Milligan on drums and harmony vocals, and Evan Martin on keyboards and Telecaster) play to an enthusiastic, mixed crowd ranging from parents with young children to seniors.
The band played well to the mixed crowd. Amanda Anne showed good judgment when, in introducing a song about the ladies of the night on Polk Street, in San Francisco, she spoke in such a way that the adults very clearly understood her, but the children in the audience would not grasp that she was talking about prostitution.
Amanda Anne played a couple of solo tunes. The first, “Learning How To Love Him,” she wrote after learning that the husband of friend who’d been married for more than 40 years had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Amanda Anne told the audience that she’d recently added the second song, Patty Griffin’s “Mary,” to her set, as part of of a Mother’s Day show she’d played with her girlfriends. “Mary,” Amanda told the audience, is about mothers and children.
(As an aside, it was a strange coincidence that Amanda Anne played a Patty Griffin song. I saw Patty Griffin in 2004 at the Austin City Limits Festival, and Amanda Anne bears an uncanny resemblance to a younger Patty.)
Perhaps thanks to the early showtime, the crowd was especially energetic, with many couples dancing to the music. Though the set was lengthy, an hour and forty-five minutes, the audience’s attention was rapt throughout. It certainly helped that Amanda Anne interacted with the crowd. She asked what we thought the song “Things We Call Home” was about, to which I eagerly replied “the things we call home!” She joked, “Very good! We should give out prizes.” She was also responsive to audience requests. Following a standing ovation and a thunderous they returned for an encore and played the highly-anticipated “Oh Me Oh My.”
The band sounded great, and Amanda Anne has a beautiful voice. I highly encourage you to catch Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters live. They’re on tour through the end of June, with dates in NC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, Kansas, Texas, and they’ll be appearing at Red Wing Roots 2018 in Virginia next month.
Speaking of tours, they’re planning to go overseas later this year for their second tour of the UK and their first visit to the continent. Airfare is expensive, and no one gets into roots music to get rich. The band has set up an Indiegogo campaign to help with the cost of tickets, and they have some cool perks. Check it out at www.honeycutters.com, and support these terrific artists and all-around awesome folks!