Amanda Anne Platt

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Amanda Anne Platt: Bad Poetry

As a child, Amanda Anne Platt spent time writing poetry. “Bad poetry. The kind of poetry you throw away,” she laughs. “Poetry was always very cathartic for me. It was an effective way for me to work things out.”

The Honeycutters

Her bad poetry writing led her to a path of songwriting. Impressive songs. Songs she now records with her band, The Honeycutters. “I grew up in a small town in New York and was raised in a musical family,” says Amanda. “My parents were music appreciators, and my dad was a musician. He played the guitar and harmonica, and he was a collector of music. He had a great collection of albums, mostly country, and blues. My older brother was always in a band when I was growing up.” Amanda began her musical journey by playing the flute. “I played from the time I was in elementary school on into high school, I suppose. I enjoyed it, but it was not what I really wanted to do.” She began playing the guitar, and when she was in college in Saratoga Springs, New York, she wandered into a used instrument store.

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“The owner talked me into buying a banjo. It had open G tuning, and the store’s owner showed me how to play it.” That was the window to Amanda’s real musical journey. At age 18 or 19, she had written one song. “I was proud of it,” she says. “I went to an open mic night at a bar, and it was a disaster. I was shaking, and I couldn’t get the words out. But when the night was over, I decided I wasn’t going to quit.” Admitting she didn’t thrive in college, Amanda says she sought the outside influences she found at open mic nights at Café Lena. It was there that she met a nurturing community of songwriters and singers. “I needed that encouragement. The songwriters there encouraged me to keep trying.”
Asheville, North Carolina

With a bit more confidence under her belt, Amanda moved to Asheville, North Carolina, fifteen years ago for several reasons. “I wanted to learn how to build guitars and found a luthier I could apprentice with. Also, I knew Asheville had a strong music scene.”

Amanda’s first order of business was to find a place to play her music. “I stayed in a hostel the first month I was in Asheville, and the Westville Pub was directly across the street. They had an open mic night, so that’s where I began playing.” As fate would have it, it’s where she met the first members of The Honeycutters.”

And Amanda did learn and built one guitar and did repairs on a few more. “I built a jumbo acoustic guitar that I played until a couple of years ago. It was really big, and it hurt my arm. A friend gave me a Gibson LG, which is what I play now.”

As she has matured, Amanda says her songwriting has evolved. “When I was in my early twenties, my songs were a bit angry. As I’ve aged, the things I am trying to figure out in life are different. Now I write about how to be a good human and forgiveness. This world is a crazy place, and there is certainly no shortage of inspiration.”

Amanda had to learn to manage her time with a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter and another on the way in November. “I used to have vast swaths of time, and writing was a part of my normal day. But I’m at the point as a parent where I have to find those moments to write.” Because of that, Amanda says she is a big note-taker. “I have a lot of lyrics stockpiled. When I sit down to write, I start playing a melody, and I whip out my phone to find lyrics that will work. It’s a mental exercise for me and mostly a solo endeavor.”

Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters are on the road, promoting the album Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Organic Records), released in February of this year. The band members in the Honeycutters are Rick Cooper on bass, Matt Smith on pedal steel and electric guitar, Kevin Williams on keyboard and vocals, and Evan Martin on drums and vocal. Evan also has the role of husband to Amanda and daddy to their daughter. “We are touring some this summer and into the fall,” says Amanda. “Not as much as we did before the pandemic, but certainly more than we have the past couple of years. It’s been nice being a stay-at-home mom, but we are all ready to get back on the road.”

Amanda and the Honeycutters will be back in Crossroads Studio in Arden, North Carolina, later this year for their next project. “I enjoy the recording process. You go in with nothing but possibilities. Due to the pandemic, we had to do a lot of our last album remotely, so we are really excited about this next project.”