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Happy in Disguise: Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters

Photo: John Gillespie
Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters perform at Albino Skunk Music Festival on May 14, 2021

Procrastination is often the yin to the yang of creativity, a kind of stumbling block that can at times derail the work of making art. Artists can procrastinate just like you and I do when it comes to getting on with whatever hard things are in front of us, which is kind of comforting. Knowing that Jim Lauderdale, for example, has often finished writing songs while in a recording session should give all of us some room to forgive ourselves for not studying for that final exam or for not doing our taxes until the last minute.

Writing songs is seldom easy. But for Amanda Anne Platt, writing songs seems free of anxiety. In fact, keeping a journal and writing songs is her way of processing life. Whereas we might take a walk or talk to a friend to decompress after long hours of doing the hard things, Amanda would likely take those hard things and put them into melodies, melodies which we can in turn crank up on the ride home to loosen up from our static filled day.

Amanda Anne Platt has appeared on Southern Songs and Stories as a guest in a roundtable of women artists from western NC in 2018 as well as a video documentary version of the show back in 2015, when her band was newly signed to their first record deal with Organic Records, which she still calls home. It was a time when she had called western North Carolina home for less than a decade, having moved from her native New York to Asheville, North Carolina to start her musical career. I spoke with Amanda once again at the Albino Skunk Music Festival in Greer, South Carolina when she and the Honeycutters performed in the late spring of 2021. Included here is our conversation as well as excerpts from the new collection titled Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea as well as a live performance from Skunk Fest.

Songs heard in this episode:

“New York” by Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters from The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, excerpt

“Open Up Your Door” by Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters, live at Albino Skunk 05-14-21

“St. Sebastian” by Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters from The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, excerpt

“The Devil” by Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters from The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

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Joe Kendrick grew up far off in the woods at in rural Stanfield, NC, where he acquired his first Sony Walkman, listened to both AM and FM radio from Charlotte, went to Nascar races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, attended a small Baptist church, read Rolling Stone, subscribed to cassette clubs, and played one very forgettable season of high school football. From there, Joe studied Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was able to fulfill his dream of being a disc jockey at WXYC. He volunteered at WNCW soon after graduation.