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Old, new, it's all good for Platt & The Honeycutters

The Burren, Somerville, Mass., January 16, 2019

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters were not mounting the stage with anything particularly new to push. The quartet's self-titled fifth album came out just over 1 -years ago. Lest one think that Platt and band were growing tired of life on the road, far from it.

In a well-delivered 85-minute set, Platt and The Honeycutters turned that ancient canard that you have to be from the south to be legit about country music on its head. Platt, 32, may be from a well-to-do north of New York City suburb (Hastings-on-Hudson to be exact), but she showcased far more country cred than the vast majority of her fellow musicians based in Music City. Billed as an Americana band, these guys were far more straight-ahead country.

Matt Smith was a particular standout on pedal steel and guitar. He gave the songs their country heart and soul with his sinewy playing on both instruments. Low key in style, his playing formed the songs.

And Platt, who does the songwriting, has a chunk of worthy songs in her catalogue. She also offered a few new songs, probably on projects coming out later this year. One hearkened back to her New York upbringing, covering her feelings about the house she grew up in, which her parents sold last year.

Vocally, Platt bears a very strong resemblance to another fine singer, Kim Richey. Like Richey, there was much to like about her singing abilities and delivery of the songs ("Eden")

Platt and the Honeycutters let loose on a few songs just enough to stretch out their musical boundaries. They paid tribute to Aretha Franklin with a countrified "Do Right Woman," but stretched it out never more so than the closing encore song, the revved up "Let's Get Drunk," a contrast to the rest of the night.

New and mainly old, Platt and band made country sound real good.

Monica Rizzio, best known for her being the lead singer of acoustic folk band Tripping Lilly, opened with a satisfying solo acoustic set. Rizzio's sound was somewhere in the country/Americana realm. She was somewhat the anti-Platt, growing up in Texas, but living on Cape Cod. Then again, good music is good music. No matter where the principals come from.