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The Daily Tar Heel

The Honeycutters create a buzz in Carrboro

Quite a bit of buzz surrounded The Honeycutters after the band’s performance at MerleFest this year — but the ArtsCenter had its eye on the band before then.

“It started in Merlefest, as all good stories do,” said Art Menius, director of the ArtsCenter.

The Honeycutters will be performing at the ArtsCenter Friday at 8 p.m.

The band is based in Asheville, where lead singer Amanda Platt originally moved for a musical apprenticeship. Platt said she stayed in Asheville for the arts community.

“(Asheville) is a very easy place to live, it’s got a really vibrant arts scene,” she said. “There are a lot of people listening and there are a lot of people to collaborate with, and it’s just a really beautiful place.”

The Carrboro community first heard about The Honeycutters after MerleFest in 2011, when the band won second place in the Christ Austin Songwriting contest for their song “Little Bird.” MerleFest is a music festival held in Wilkesboro, N.C., every year in honor of Grammy award winner Doc Watson’s son, Eddy Merle Watson.

Menius said he recalls that many people at the ArtsCenter asked him to bring The Honeycutters in to perform.

“What is unique about The Honeycutters is that they use so much original material and that they keep alive in 2013 with the real root spirit of country music the way it was back in the 20th century,” Menius said.

The Honeycutters most recent album, “When Bitter Met Sweet” was released in 2012, and the group has been working on an album set to release in 2014. Platt said this is the first album that she has produced exclusively on her own.

“For me, it’s been a big learning experience about taking control, and really taking the reins a bit more,” Platt said.

Platt began singing almost five years ago, when The Honeycutters started playing music in Asheville in 2009. The band has managed to maintain a consistent fan base in Asheville, and throughout North Carolina, while still reaching fans as far as the west coast and New England area.

“I think part of being a successful artist is that if you have something inside of yourself that you want to express, you’re the one who knows best what that needs to look like or sound like,” she said.

Platt said she encourages those who are seeking a career in music to express themselves without feeling the constraints of staying in one genre.

“I’d say don’t worry too much about trying to be somebody else or trying to fit into a genre, just do what you do,” she said.

The Honeycutters have consistently heard praise from WNCW, the local radio station serving Asheville, who has named the band as a favorite Americana band for three years.

Menius encourages audience members to come and see The Honeycutters at the ArtsCenter in a small setting while they still can.

“You’ll come away having a really good time with a band that will forever and ever have greater popularity,” he said.

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