Since 2007, The Honeycutters have been doing their part to continue the tradition and honesty of vintage country music. Never mind the swill you’ll hear all over modern country radio. Instead, for true country, point your ears towards this quintet based in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Though a band in the truest sense of the word, The Honeycutters are undoubtedly led by singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt, whose talents can be wisely compared to the likes of Iris Dement and Emmylou Harris. A songwriter with an ear for charming melodies and a pen rich with subtle wit, Platt writes songs for The Honeycutters that rummage deeply into the country music saddle bag.

The band recently released On The Ropes, their fourth long player and the follow up to last year’s critically acclaimed Me Oh My, which established the band as a burgeoning new voice in the world of Americana music.

I recently chatted with singer Amanda Anne Platt about the new record, boxing, and Asheville’s best local honey.

BRO – You recently celebrated the release of your new record with your hometown fans in Asheville. That had to feel good.

AP – Yes, it did! We love playing at home, and it means a lot to see so many familiar faces in the audience.

BRO – The band rolls into Bristol on Friday. That has to be a bit like going back to the wellspring. Any bands from the Bristol Sessions from which you draw particular inspiration?

AP – It would be hard to pinpoint. I definitely fell in love with the Carter Family in my late teens and went through a phase of reading a lot of nonfiction about early country music. I think more than anything, the idea of people who had been making music on their front porches their whole lives getting recording contracts and becoming big stars without a bunch of grooming is what inspires me. The music that gave rise to the Americana genre started just like that. It was very true music. So it’s nice to have a slice of history so close to home.

BRO – We are featuring the title track to the new record on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?

AP – “On The Ropes” doesn’t have a very interesting story behind it, I’m sorry to say. It’s a pick me up song, with a chorus that I started singing to myself when I was feeling discouraged. It kind of grew from there.

BRO – I love the boxing imagery on the record packaging. Ever tempted to spend some time in the ring?

AP – Yes, actually! I was thinking pretty seriously about signing up for lessons at the gym where we did the shoot. But I’m a wuss. I probably won’t follow through on that.

BRO – Where’s the best place to grab some local honey the next time I am in Asheville?

AP – There used to be a great little honey stand in Haw Creek called Haw Creek Honey. They just had this box where you put your money and then you took your honey. I think that people abused the system, though. I don’t believe that’s still there. But there’s always honey at the farmer’s market!

Amanda Anne Platt and the rest of The Honeycutters will take to the stage at The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia, this Friday. Trail Mix wants to give you an opportunity to win tickets to that show. Take a shot at the trivia question down below and email your answer to dave@blueridgeoutdoors.com. A winner from all of the correct answers received by 5 PM on Thursday, June 9th, will win two tickets to the show!

Be sure to check out The Honeycutters’ website for information on tour dates and how to get your copy of On The Ropes. Also, take a listen to “On The Ropes” on this month’s Trail Mix.

Question . . . . It’s noted above that The Carter Family contributed mightily to the 1927 Bristol Sessions. Which band below, however, was NOT recorded by Ralph Peer during those sessions?

A – The Bull Mountain Moonshiners
B – The Blue Ridge Corn Shuckers
C – The Possum Holler Ramblers
D – Dad Blackard’s Mountaineers

Remember . . . Email your answers in! Don’t post in the comments section below!  Good luck!!!