The Very Boring Rally


The Honeycutters

Performing Saturday, August 24, 2013, 9:00pm to 10:30pm.


The Honeycutters are, at the heart, the musical collaboration of singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt and Lead Guitarist/ Producer Peter James. While their sound has drawn comparisons to such artists as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris or Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Platt and James produce a refreshingly unique blend of Americana music that is comfortingly familiar while being entirely original. Whether performing as an acoustic duo or a full fledged Honky-Tonk five piece, The Honeycutters leave smiles on the faces of the ears that they catch.

Their most recent release, When Bitter Met Sweet (2012), hit #23 on the Americana Chart, and landed at #94 for the year. It was also one of the top ten best selling albums at Merlefest in 2012. The record came in at #4 in WNCW’s listener voted top 100, and #2 in the regional favorites (right behind The Avett Brothers).

Their first full length studio release Irene (May ’09) was recorded at Asheville’s own Collapseable Studio, and mixed by Grammy Award winning sound engineer David Fergason (Nashville TN) . The album has garnered radio support across the USA as well as overseas, and landed them in Iaan Hughes’ (No Depression Podcast) top twenty of 2009, Fret Knot Radio Hour’s “Nine to Know from ’09”, and as number 32 in WNCW’s listener voted top 100.

Amanda Anne Platt has been hailed as “one of the best songwriters coming out of WNC these days” by WNCW programming director Martin Anderson, and her voice has been described as “perfectly unadorned” and “recklessly beautiful”. Her song, “Little Bird,” won second place in the general category of the Chris Austin Songwriting contest in 2011. Her lyrics are as catchy and heartbreaking as her melodies. Dane Smith of Asheville NC’s Mountain Xpress writes “Her songs make you sad…in a good way!” In both her simple composition and honest delivery it’s easy to hear the influence of country legends such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, or Loretta Lynn, and with this Miss Platt credits growing up listening to her Father’s extensive record collection every Saturday morning. Despite her love for classic country, she cites Bruce Springstein and Tom Petty as major influences and her songwriting carries a wit and an edge that plants her firmly in her generation.

Peter James is rapidly becoming one of Western North Carolina’s most sought after guitar players, known for both insightful solos and tasteful accompaniment. Having first held a guitar at age thirteen, he quickly started making up for lost time by delving completely into the instrument. His natural talent and attention to detail made him an asset to The Slant Six Cowboys, a New Hampshire based group founded by James and singer/songwriter Don Witcher out of their long time musical collaboration. In 2004 they released a self-titled album on 95 North records which reached number 14 on the AMA chart. Since moving to Asheville in 2006 James has played right-hand man to several of the region’s top acts, including Taylor Martin and Brian McGee.

Like so many of country music’s great duos, Platt and James have a musical chemistry that can be felt throughout the songs they play, from the sounds of their guitars to their vocal harmonies. Perhaps this is why they are frequently mentioned along with the movement to “Take country music back to it’s roots”. The Honeycutters are just doing what they know how to do: making music that feels as good to hear as it does to play. Their original brand of Americana has proven equally appealing to both the musician and the music lover, the country and the city, and the old and the young.

Tal Taylor on mandolin, Rick Cooper on bass, and Josh Milligan on drums round out Platt’s songs and create a sound that carries just as well across the bar room as the acoustic duo does in a church or a music hall.

Since the release of their first studio album, The Honeycutters have shared the stage with such Americana giants as Guy Clark, Tony Rice, The Seldom Scene, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Donna The Buffalo, Jill Andrews, and The Steep Canyon Rangers. They have been voted Western North Carolina’s favorite local Americana act (2011 Mountain Xpress reader’s poll) and delighted audiences from upstate New York to Seattle, Washington. They are currently planning a fundraiser for the production of their third full length studio album.

John Branyan

Performing Friday, August 23, 2013, 9:30pm to 10:30pm.


In November of 1990, John took the stage at an Indianapolis comedy club with the intention of getting comedy out of his system. “I figured they’d at least boo me off stage. Worst case scenario, they’d throw stuff at me.”

As it turned out, there was no booing or throwing.

And since that fateful maiden voyage, John has made lots of people laugh from coast to coast. On stage, he’s energetic and contagiously enthusiastic about numerous topics including: Electronic cigarettes, Snuggies, automatic flushing toilets and the proper age to stop chewing your shoe in church.

Born and raised in the heart of fly-over country, John is committed to “comedy that won’t leave a filthy residue”. There’s nothing in his act that you wouldn’t want to hear your children repeat. (In fact, if your children repeat anything he says, send him a video copy of it...he’d love to see it!)

“People didn’t invent laughter. It was given to us by someone who knew we’d enjoy it. Every show, my goal is to hurt people. Seriously. I want people’s jaws to ache. I want their sides to cramp up. I want them to experience dizziness from oxygen deprivation. When they are in pain, I’ve done my job.”

And hundreds of audiences eagerly respond, “Bring on the pain...”

Andy Austin

Performing Friday, August 23, 2013, 6:00pm to 11:00pm.


Andy Austin is an experienced classical guitarist and performer who plays a variety of classical and popular tunes.

He also sings and plays songs by artists such as Jim Croce, the Eagles, REM, Kansas, Gordon Lightfoot and others. The classical guitar music repertoire ranges from a variety of songs such as Classical Gas by Mason Williams to Beethoven and Bach.

Eli Bisonett

Performing Saturday, August 24, 2013, 10:00am to 4:00pm.


Eli grew up in Ely, MN and studied Classical Violin Performance at the University of MN Twin Cities. His violin studies began with Suzuki at age 8. Throughout his teen years he toured worldwide with the Singing Strings, performing a range of genres: including Classical, Jazz, American Fiddle, and Nordic Folk. Since completing Folk Music studies in Finland five years ago, Eli has performed and toured as a solo act, as well as across genres with multiple folk and rock groups.