Asheville, NC band The Honeycutters follow-up 2015’s excellent Me Oh My with a new collection of stellar tracks, On the Ropes. Front and center are the powerful vocals of Amanda Anne Platt, and the rest of the band – Tal Taylor (mandolin), Matt Smith (pedal steel, dobro, electric guitar), Rick Cooper (upright and electric bass), and Josh Milligan (drums/harmony vocals) – continue to hone their skills and further shape the band’s authentic country and roots sound. Where Me Oh My was a darker, more melancholic affair, On the Ropes is filled with a bit more upbeat songs about drinking, heartache, and hard living. Album highlights include: the sparse tearjerker “Barmaid’s Blues”; the toe-tapping drinking song “Let’s Get Drunk”; the reflective “Golden Child”; a cover of Leonard Cohen’s iconic “Hallelujah”; and the frank primer on love, “The Handbook.” On the Ropes is a fantastic album that will surely be on my list of top albums this year. There is literally is not a mediocre tune on this album!