Looking back at the last 12 months in local music, 2013 might officially be declared the Year of Americana in Savannah.
From the success of the inaugural Revival Fest to our decade-long love affair with The Train Wrecks, the Lowcountry can't get enough of the whiskey-soaked, boot-stomping twang sweeping downtown and Tybee.
On Dec. 14, longtime fans and folks who have yet to catch the fever can experience it all firsthand at the third annual Homegrown Holiday Hoedown at the American Legion Post 135 ballroom. The brainchild of The Train Wrecks and The Accomplices, the Hoedown is a celebration of our local and regional Americana all-stars, complete with food, libations and charitable holiday cheer.
This year will feature American Hologram, a newer Savannah band featuring veteran players Eric Britt, Craig Tanner, Britt Scott and Eric Dunn, and Charlotte's The New Familiars, in addition to The Train Wrecks and The Accomplices.
Just like many an Accomplices show, where you never know which stellar local musician might make a guest appearance, Homegrown Holiday Hoedown is a collaborative affair from a strong and talented support group.
"We always work together and make this whole thing happen," said Train Wrecks and American Hologram bassist Eric Dunn. "Colleen (Heine, Accomplices fiddle player) does all the posters - that's why the posters every year kick ass. We all get together to plan and talk about the bands, and it's turned into something really cool."
Though The Train Wrecks and Accomplices are the Hoedown's mainstays, every year a new band is added. This year marks the first time an out-of-town band is on the bill.
"They're like our best friends," Dunn said of The New Familiars.
Dunn, who manages booking at North Beach Grill, met the band when he booked them a gig five years ago. Soon, Savannah became a regular destination for the North Carolinians as their anthemic Appalachia-inspired tunes filled our bars and venues.
"They come here all the time and are always bringing their wives here on vacation," Dunn said. "I feel like this is their home, too. We want to give them some Savannah love."
There will be plenty of merriment and celebration in the American Legion Ballroom as the diverse batch of players show off their chops.
"Santa Claus is going to be there with a photo booth - Geoff Johnson's doing the photos - and Driftaway Cafe is doing the food, so you know the food's going to be awesome," Dunn said with a grin. "Virgil Kane, a whiskey from Charleston that sponsors The Train Wrecks, will be there, too."
Guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped donation for Toys for Tots.
"The last couple of years, we've had truckloads of toys," Dunn said. "It's been a really good thing."