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Posts Tagged ‘Evan Martin’

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Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters New Album Out June 9
The album is now on pre-sale →  https://clg.lnk.to/Lj4Wo

ASHEVILLE, NC –“We’re switching things up a little. After four albums I’ve decided to step out and start using my own name. It’s something that a lot of people have encouraged me to do over the years, and I guess that 2017 just felt right.” That name, Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters, is also the title of the band’s new album, which will be released by Organic Records June 9, 2017. “We’re keeping The Honeycutters too because we don’t want to confuse people… really, we’ve always been Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters. I think I’ve just gotten to a place where I feel comfortable enough to be in the spotlight.”

Amanda is so good it’s ridiculous. I don’t even know what words to use. Her singing, songwriting and presence is unmatched in Americana, Country, Pop… Simply breathtaking,” said Saul Davis: producer (Percy Sledge), manager (Gene Clark, Carla Olson, Phil Seymour).

Lyrically driven, the songs on Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters blend the band’s old-school country roots attitude with their shared influences of rock and folk. Amanda says of the album, “I think it’s just about life and all that that entails. Including but not limited to death, strangers, birthdays, money, leaving, arriving, seasons, corruption, and love.”

Performing along with Platt, The Honeycutters are Matt Smith on pedal steel and Stratocaster, Rick Cooper on bass, Josh Milligan on drums and harmony vocals, and Evan Martin on keys and Telecaster.

Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters is the group’s third release on Organic Records, and fifth album. Assembling the same the same team as 2016’s On The Ropes, Balsam Range’s Tim Surrett steps in for the second time to co-produce this album along with Amanda. Its thirteen tracks were recorded, mixed, and mastered by Scott Barnett at Crossroads Studios in Arden, NC near the band’s hometown of Asheville, NC.

There is an empathetic and charming wit ingrained in Amanda’s songwriting. She has a knack for accessing a deep well of emotion and applying it to her story-telling, whether she is writing from her own experiences or immersing herself into the melody of emotions in another person’s life.

Amanda Platt writes songs on par with Lucinda, Isbell, Lauderdale, Hank Sr. In my opinion, anyway.” said, WNCW’s Music Director Martin Anderson to No Depression.

In the lead off track, “Birthday Song,” Amanda writes with a gentle optimism, “Every time it gets colder I get another year older… I start looking for lines in the bathroom mirror… but when I lay down at night I swear I must have done something right… cause I’m still so damn glad to be here… I’ve been trying to love the questions, and keep on guessing.” Written just before her 30th birthday, Platt calls the song, “a summation of everything I learned in that decade.

There is an easygoing warmth to the album, enhanced by the its refined arrangement and production; from the upbeat “Diamond in the Rough” to the poetic and observational “Eden” to the very personal, yet universal, “Brand New Start” to “Late Summer’s Child” (an ode to her favorite season) and “Rare Thing” (a song commissioned from Platt from a fan as a love song to his wife that ended up being included on the album. “Your mama said that it would never last… but these years go by so fast… and you’re the song I’m humming to myself as I’m counting the miles… you’re such a rare thing.”) One can feel it even in songs with a more solemn concept behind them like, like “Long Ride,” which speaks of living in the moment in the face of mortality.

Platt wrote “Learning How To Love Him” after hearing an acquaintance of hers talk about learning that her husband of 40+ years was terminally ill. She says, “What really struck me was how she described the tenderness that the news brought back to their relationship.” Amanda sings, “’I woke last night and I felt so afraid, I turned on the light and shook him awake and we stared at the ceiling, listening to the sink drip… I spent my whole life learning how to love him and I never loved him more than I do today.”

The successes of On The Ropes [2016] and Me Oh My [2015] have propelled Amanda Anne Platt and The Honeycutters onto the national scene and they have been featured on NPR’s World Cafe’s Sense of Place, NPR’s Mountain Stage, Nashville’s Music City Roots, and Folk Alley and they have performed at AmericanaFest, MerleFest, and IBMA. On The Ropes debuted at #39 on iTunes Top 40 Country Chart on release day and landed on a plethora of year end lists including placing #35 on the Top 100 Albums played on Americana Radio in 2016 and landing at #1 on Western North Carolina’s WNCW Radio’s Year End Listeners Poll of Top Albums of 2016!

On The Ropes hit #11 on the EuroAmericana Chart and The UK’s Julian Piper with Acoustic Magazine says, “Amanda Platt has one of those gorgeous heartache-drenched voices that brings to mind Loretta Lynn or Sheryl Crow.”

Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters plan to tour extensively in US this year and will travel to Europe for the first time in the summer. They are excited to release Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters to the world this spring!

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Amanda Anne Platt and The Honeycutters on Tour
5/6 Sat – Green River Adventures – Saluda, NC
5/19 Fri – Birdfest – Pinewood, SC
5/20 Sat – Sunset Fest – Dandridge, TN
6/2 Fri – The Neighborhood Theater – Charlotte, NC ^ w/ Town Mountain
6/9-10 Fri-Sat – The Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC
6/17 Sat – The Ark – Ann Arbor, MI
6/21 Wed – Abilene Bar and Lounge – Rochester, NY
6/22 Thu – Sportsmen’s Tavern – Buffalo, NY
6/23 Fri – Cathedral Café – Fayetteville, WV
7/14 Fri – Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA * w/ Amy Ray Band (of The Indigo Girls)
7/19 Wed – Taos Mesa Brewing – El Prado, NM
7/21 Fri – Telluride Americana Music Fest & Songwriter Showcase at Sheridan Opera House – Telluride, CO
7/22-23 Sat-Sun – Mountain Rails Live – Alamosa, CO

UK DATES
8/4 Fri – Plough Arts Centre – Great Torrington
8/5 Sat – Tumbleweed at Seven Arts – Leeds
8/6 Sun – Saltburn Arts – Saltburn-by-the-Sea
8/8 Tue – Performing Arts Centre – Kilbarchan
8/9 Wed – Private function – Edinburgh
8/10 Thu – Fringe by The Sea – North Berwick
8/11 Fri – Eastgate Theatre – Peebles
8/12 Sat – Jumpin Hot Country Cantina at Acklington Village Hall – Acklington, Northumberland
8/13 Sun – Woodend Gallery – Scarborough
8/16 Wed – Green Note – London
8/17 Thu -Union Music Store at Con Club – Lewes
8/18 Fri – Square & Compass – Worth Matravers
8/19 Sat – Town Hall Live @ Kirton in Lindesy – Lincs
8/20 Sun – American Museum – Bath (afternoon)
More USA dates TBA!

Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters Track Listing
1. Birthday Song 4:15
2. Long Ride 3:47
3. What We’ve Got 4:46
4. Diamond In The Rough 4:37
5. Eden 5:33
6. The Guitar Case 4:18
7. Learning How To Love Him 4:17
8. Brand New Start 3:14
9. Late Summer’s Child 3:57
10. The Good Guys (Dick Tracy) 4:38
11. Rare Thing 4:43
12. The Things We Call Home 2:39
13. The Road 2:40

More information at www.TheHoneycutters.com, www.facebook.com/Honeycutters, and www.twitter.com/thehoneycutters.

 

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Town Mountain: The Dead Session Artwork by Taylor Swope

Town Mountain: The Dead Session
Artwork by Taylor Swope

To Honor the Grateful Dead in the year of the band’s 50th Anniversary
Town Mountain recorded bluegrass versions of two of their favorite Grateful Dead songs

Town Mountain: The Dead Session
Features “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” & “Big River
Due Out Fri, Nov 13th

“Wow, I like these hard-core acoustic honky-tonk takes on two Grateful Dead favorites!” —David Gans, musician and co-author of This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead.”

Town Mountain is excited to announce the independent release of Town Mountain: The Dead Session on Friday, November 13, 2015. Each member of this band has enjoyed the music of the Grateful Dead for quite some time,” says vocalist and guitarist Robert Greer. “It seemed only fitting for Town Mountain to pay respect to some musical heroes in this year, their 50th year of existence.” They recorded an impromptu set of two of their favorite songs from the Grateful Dead’s catalog, “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” and “Big River” at the widely acclaimed Echo Mountain Recording Studios in their hometown of Asheville, NC.

This is the Grateful Dead done in Town Mountains hard drivin’ style filled with a honky tonk edge and barroom swagger. The resulting sound is touched by Jerry Garcia with Jimmy Martin and John Hartford… Fitting since Hartford played a short stint in Old and In The Way before Vassar Clements filled out the band on fiddle, and Garcia’s first instrument was a banjo as he was influenced by bluegrass music throughout his career. Narrowing down to just two was not an easy task for Town Mountain.

“What can I say about “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo”? It’s just perfect. Lyrically it’s amazing,” says banjoist Jesse Langlais. “Robert Hunter can be so descriptive yet so vague in the point he’s trying to get across. Which is great for the audience because it allows listeners to choose what they want the song to be about. In my opinion that’s what a good songwriter does. He leaves the song open to interpretation.”

Langlais says, “Musically, Mississippi was extremely fun to play with exciting changes and a lot going on melodically… almost like there’s two songs in one. On the original studio version of this song Vassar Clements plays fiddle. Bobby and I tried to mimic the interplay that Jerry and Vassar had on it. This is just an amazing song, and and it made sense for us to record it because it had a bluegrass master involved. We adopted it into Town Mountain’s repertoire without changing the integrity of the song.”

“Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloowas written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter and originally released on Wake of the Flood in 1973. It was performed over 230 times live by The Dead over the years and the song was also the second set opener of the second night of the Fare Thee Well shows in Santa Clara this year.

Big River” was written by Johnny Cash in 1958. But true to The Dead’s fashion they would take other people’s songs or traditional songs and make them their own. They had a knack for finding covers that were transcendent of the original artist and they played it in almost 400 live performances.

“We’ve always liked their version of country music. Even their original albums we’re steeped in that sound. Workingman’s Dead is full of country music influence,” explains Langlais. “The Dead kept the sentiment of ‘Big River’ but translated it to make an audience who may not have known what country music was love it. That audience for them was typically a younger more rock or jam influenced fan but they still ended up knowing the song and singing along.” “Big River” fits right into Town Mountain’s sound and wheelhouse.

Town Mountain. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

Town Mountain. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

The core of Town Mountain is Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, and Adam Chaffins on bass (Adam is featured on “Mississippi”). Evan Martin plays drums on both tracks. Jon Stickley fills in on bass and guitar in “Big River” and Jack Deveroux lays down the pedal steel on “Big River.”

For the cover art, Town Mountain turned to long time Grateful Dead artist Taylor Swope. Taylor has been creating official Grateful Dead art since the former VP of Grateful Dead Productions discovered her in a parking lot at a show in 2003 and offered her a license on the spot. Her work has become iconic in it’s own right, having become widely associated with the generations of Deadheads who have grown up in the wake of Jerry Garcia’s passing.

Riding the wave of excitement that followed Fare Thee Well where her poster was one of only four featured at both stadiums, and sharing Town Mountain’s deep appreciation for American roots music, Taylor says she “thoroughly enjoyed creating this image. I am obsessed with swimming and water in general, so when Town Mountain asked me to draw them a river with a Steal Your Face, it was a natural fit.”

Town Mountain is no stranger to playing covers, and what has become one of the group’s more memorable live performance songs is their version of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire,” which they first recorded in 2008’s Heroes & Heretics. Town Mountain’s version “I’m On Fire” has reached over 1 Million listeners on Spotify and has garnered over 430,000 views.

Town Mountain is also prolific in songwriting; each member contributes their well-supplied vat of original material. They are finalizing their next studio release which was produced and engineered by GRAMMY winner Dirk Powell in his studio, The Cypress House, in south Louisiana. For a sneak peek at what to expect on the future album, watch the band perform a new original song, “Wildbird,” in this wonderful session filmed by Hype Music Festivals at the 2015 Suwannee Springfest in Live Oak, FL →  http://bit.ly/Wildbird_byTownMountain_HYPE.

Town Mountain is in it for the long haul… check out out where they’ll be travelin’ to next and keep an eye on TownMountain.net for further dates as well as a brand new selection of merchandise. For updates from the road, please visit facebook.com/TownMountain, twitter.com/TownMountain, and instagram.com/townmountainbluegrass

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Moses Atwood CD Release

Co-bill with Johnson’s Crossroad

Friday, March 30th
$10, Doors is 9:30 / Show is at 10pm
Lexington Ave Brewery
39 North Lexington Avenue
Asheville, 28801
(828) 252-0212

Asheville’s Moses Atwood will be teaming up with Johnson’s Crossroad for a Co-Bill at the Lexington Ave. Brewery on Friday, March 30th.

Moses will be celebrating the release of his NEW album One Bright Boat. Joining Moses for his set will be Dave Mack on bass, Jacob Baumann on Drums, Evan Martin on Guitar, and other special guests! Moses will also be sitting in with Johnson’s Crossroad (JXR) for a song or two.

Johnson’s Crossroad has a lot in store this year and are going to be heading back in the studio to record a 3rd album. Their 2011 release Mockingbird was voted #7 on WNCW’s Top 20 Regional Albums! Having played around 140 shows in 2011, they continue on their travels and are performing Merlefest for the 3rd year in a row and were added to the John Hartford Memorial Fest in IN and Band Lands Bluegrass in WV in 2012!

***     *****     ***

Moses Atwood sets sail with sophomore effort, One Bright Boat
It’s been four years since singer/songwriter Moses Atwood (also known for his work with Johnson’s Crossroad and The Overflow Jug Band) released his self-titled debut. That was in 2008; suddenly last fall Atwood decided it was time to put together his new collection of songs, One Bright Boat. So he rounded up a group of musicians and headed to Waking Studio, the new digs of Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog) in Philadelphia. There, Atwood and company knocked out the nine tracks in a mere week. The songs, he says, were culled from the years since his first album. While some date back to when he lived in Maine, most were written in North Carolina over the last few years.

Atwood choose Waking Studio because he wanted to take his musicians (including Michael Libramento of Floating Action) out of their routines. And it was time: “I’d found so many ways of circumventing the actual making of the record that I was like, ‘book the dates, get the people and do it.'” A week is a push, but, Atwood says, “Limitations are a really valuable thing in any artistic process — how many limitations and how you impose them is the trick.”

One Bright Boat doesn’t sound pressured or hurried. It opens with rollicking piano, the easy jingle of tambourine and tasteful flourishes of guitar. Atwood’s voice is what colors in the picture, relaxed and rich, rising effortlessly in a warm baritone.

“I’m tired of being the sad man, tired of all the sad songs. I’m tired of living my life like I’ve done something wrong,” he imparts on the spirit-lifting, cloud- parting title track.

If Atwood’s first record paid homage to his troubadour heroes (Woody Guthrie, Utah Phillips), One Bright Boat is less road-weary and more refined as Atwood leaves the minstrel role for that of bandleader in the style of Van Morrison and Randy Newman.

Running like a current through the record is Atwood’s talent for telling a story in fleeting images and washes of sound. These aren’t ballads but modern song-sketches of places longed for and passed through, people met and parted with, time passing. There’s space on each track — an easy flow of tides and waltzes (“California”), of pedal steel accents and Atwood’s comfortable flannel- and-bourbon vocal polished with (on “At Last”) gospel and brass.

“In recording, I feel like you’re recreating or capturing a moment in time,” says Atwood. “With modern recording you’re at constant great risk of losing the value of the moment, losing the essence of what you’ve got going on. But if you go all for capturing the moment, you don’t have a record, you just have a live performance. There’s a balance that the best records achieve.”

For a young artist, Atwood comes admirably close to that balance. It’s an album that rings both fresh and familiar, of-a-time and timeless. With One Bright Boat, Atwood’s ship comes in.

***          *****          ***

Johnson’s Crossroad has been described by friends and fans as everything from “Appalachian Soul” to “Hillbilly Metal.”

The band blends blues, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, and Appalachian Old Time for a sound that The Daily Times’ Steve Wildsmith calls “both mournful and jubilant, breezy and graveyard serious.”  He goes on to comment that frontman Paul Johnson’s voice “barely rises above a growl, but he stretches that sound to encompass the experience of a train-hopping hobo and the wisdom of an old man recalling loves lost and wars fought from the porch of a backwoods cabin.”

Their 2011 album Mockingbird puts songwriter Paul Johnson in line with names like Guy Clark or Zac Brown and his powerful voice evokes memories of folk stars like Taj Mahal or Burl Ives. The Wilmington Star News describes, “It’s gruff and easygoing, like a mix of Tom Waits and Ben Knox Miller of The Low Anthem.“  AmericanaUKexclaims, “With ‘Mockingbird’ Johnson’s Crossroad seem to have just proved themselves to be one of the finest Roots rockers around right now.” The album was voted the #7 Regional albums of 2012 by WNCW!

The sincerity of Johnson’s songs and simplicity of his lyrics make you want to pour a brew, put your feet up or head to the hills. Asheville’s Bold Life call the band a “treat to see live” and says that, “Paul Johnson has a knack for creating powerful visuals with straightforward lyrics.” Dobro, mandolin and fiddle back up Johnson’s clean lyrics on some, other times its simple finger picking to a folksong.

“I like to keep the words simple,” said Paul Johnson. “I try and follow Hank Williams as much as possible, let the words tell the story and the music back it up,” Johnson said.  His inspiration is simple yet intently focused. “I was born in the mountains of West Virginia, I’ve always been in the mountains all my life,” said Johnson who now calls Asheville, NC home.

“This is what I’ve always wanted to do, travel around and pick guitar,” said Johnson, who writes the majority of the songs for Johnson’s Crossroad. Watching his back is mandolin player Keith Minguez, a strong friendship at the core of the group.

“In 1998 I met Paul and I saw John Hartford on my first visit to MerleFest, it was life changing” said Minguez.  Then in 2004 he had enough, “I was 30, living in Florida, drinking with my dad’s buddies and they all said the same thing, ‘drink scotch and water and never stop chasing your dream.’”  He called Paul and in 13 hours was at his door with mandolin in hand.  “If Keith wasn’t around nothing would get done,” laughed Johnson. Friends Corey Lee McQuade (Dobro, banjo, harmonies) and Moses Atwood (keyboard, Dobro, harmonies) sit in on variety of gigs, and often other friends join in support Johnson’s constant search for great sound.

The band is returning to Blue Ridge Big Sky Music Studio (appropriately topping a peak above Moravian Falls, NC) to record their 3rd album in 2012.  Who could resist after the experience they had last time around?  It’s where they’re comfortable, it’s where everything is comfortable.  Making music with friends, fans and family. At the studio, it’s a drive to the county line to get a little cell reception and distraction is not so digital, just were they need to be. They are looking for an early 2013 release and will be spending time over the summer and fall getting the next one just right, working again with John Adair as Engineer and Producer.

Since their first album Blood in Black and White they’ve won spots at national events like Merlefest, Floyd Fest, Music City Roots and Bristol Rhythm and Roots, with tours to the Northeast and Midwest that continue throughout 2012. Years playing the road to empty rooms have passed. Johnson’s Crossroad travels on with over 150 shows and a world of mountains ahead to climb.

***     *****     ***

Check out this video of Moses with JXR performing the song “Louisiana” that is on One Bright Boat.

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On Saturday, February 12, at 9: 00 pm, local musician Angi West will celebrate the release of her new album, Opportunity Cost, at the Grey Eagle. She will also be celebrating her 30th birthday, with the evening culminating in a dance party with DJ Kipper. For this show, West will be joined by an impressive band – Seth Kauffman, Michael Libramento and Evan Martin, all members of  Floating Action.

Produced by Seth Kauffman, Opportunity Cost is West’s third release. Though the album makes a sonic departure from her previous recordings, the songs have the depth and beauty she is known for. Opportunity Cost has a darkness that is also uplifting, and West’s unapologetic lyrics are stunning.

“Most of Angi’s previous albums are piano-based, so I wanted this one to have minimum piano on it,” Kauffman explains. “Usually things are more compelling when you’re out of your comfort zone.” A creative producer, Kauffman varied his approach, “She brought in a few songs on harmonium and banjo, so we tried to fully realize those with live, almost field-recording-like takes. This batch of songs was very original and had some cool elements we tried to bring to the forefront; using unique, sometimes bizarre instrumentation and production.” For example, “I have this weird, 1970’s Baldwin Discoverer organ, that cool drum machine beats and Beach House-esque sounds. Most of the songs feature that organ, with her singing and playing live, all on one track.”

Overall Kauffman says, “The album was cut in quite a relaxed, organic nature. Angi usually got songs on their first or second take. I added some overdubs, and she did some of the vocals at Brian Landrum’s Synergy Dynamics studio, the whole album took less that a week total.”

Find out more about Angi West on her website, www.angiwest.com.

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