This year, the sixth annual Homegrown Holiday Hoedown sold out earlier than it ever has.
This is a staple event of the holiday season in Savannah. Held each year in the historic American Legion Post 135 on Bull Street, it originated when local alt-country rockers The Train Wrecks and Americana outfit The Accomplices teamed up to throw a holiday event with a charity aspect, featuring both bands with guest acts, food and booze.
It’s sold out every year. This time, they beat last year’s record of the first week of December by selling out on Nov. 30.
“It definitely seems like a favorite of Savannah locals,” Train Wrecks drummer Jeremy Hammons said. “This is one of the events in town that it’s — actually the word homegrown is fantastic. It’s a local show by locals for locals. The fact that it sells out this quick, shows every year what a fun, focused thing it is. We’re doing this for them. We definitely get a lot from the audience. We all play our fair share of bar gigs, so it’s nice to play on a stage and have your local community support you.”
Accomplices’ fiddle player Colleen Heine and company chose locally based nonprofit Loop It Up Savannah as this year’s benefactor. The organization is focused on bringing creative art experiences to children and families of Savannah, according to its Facebook page.
Donations at the Hoedown this year can include a host of items: new art supplies, including watercolor paints, kids scissors, glue sticks, acrylic paint and paint brushes, as well as canned goods or other nonperishable foods, gift cards for grocery stores or Home Depot, new children’s shoes, socks and underwear and new toys.
“In the past we’ve done Toys for Tots every year, which is a great organization,” Heine said. “This year, we wanted to switch it up. We felt compelled toward Loop It Up’s mission. It’s about bringing creative experiences to children across the city. In addition, taking care of the basic needs of families involved in those programs.
“We will still be collecting toys, but it’s also opened up to other items of need. Loop It Up is a very local organization. They are going to be there on site and involved. We didn’t raise our prices this year, because we want people to take that extra step and donate to Loop it Up.”
Both The Train Wrecks and The Accomplices have some musical goodies in store for the crowd.
The Train Wrecks hit the studio in early August to lay down a quick EP. They ended up recording six more songs than originally intended. They will be releasing a long-form, nine-track EP in the new year on 45 and digital platforms.
For the Hoedown, they plan on premiering several new tracks off that EP, as well as several classic Train Wrecks tunes, and even some Christmas music.
“We’re probably going to be playing at least three new songs and at least two new Christmas songs,” Hammons said.
“It’s a lot heavier version of the Train Wrecks,” frontman Jason Bible said of the new EP. “It’s got a couple ballads. It’s got an instrumental on it. We did one cover of ‘In The Pines.’ It’s pretty rowdy on the record. That turned out great.”
The Accomplices recently debuted an original Christmas song, written by drummer Stan Ray. The song has been on rotation on local radio station Q105.
Hammons is excited about it.
“The big news is we just released a new, original Christmas song,” Heine said in a joint interview, “written by Stan Ray.”
“Please tell me it’s ‘Margaritas and Mistletoes,’” Hammons quickly inquired of her during the interview.
“It’s ‘Margaritas and Mistletoes,’” Heine replied to Hammons with emphatic excitement.
“That’s my favorite Stan Ray song,” Hammons added with a big smile.
Local favorites The Hypnotics are also on the bill. Austin Quattlebaum, a Savannah native who now lives in Portland, Ore., will open the night. Quattlebaum’s family owns and operates Driftaway Cafe, which will be providing the catering for the evening. A cash bar will also be on hand, featuring Southbound Brewing Co. craft beer. Tybee’s Santa will be there as well.
Although this is a show focused on local fans in some respects, it’s also for the bands. These two groups have intermingled for years, playing shows together and becoming friends. To share a historic stage together once a year is as much a treat for them as it is for the crowd.
“The Accomplices and Train Wrecks haven’t really rubbed together a lot this year,” Hammons said. “Typically, we play a lot of shows together, but we’ve been off doing separate stuff this year. This is actually a really nice chance for us to play together.”
“This year is going to be fun,” Bible said. “I always like playing that room. Elvis played there. It’s got an old piano in the back of that place. I am almost positive that piano hasn’t moved. It’s pretty out of tune. Every time I look at it, I think Elvis probably warmed his voice up or played on this piano. It’s got a historic vibe on that stage.”
As people leave the show, tickets will be available at the door for sale. In order to not supersede capacity, new guests will be allowed in on a one-in, one-out basis.
IF YOU GO
What: Sixth annual Homegrown Holiday Hoedown
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 16
Where: American Legion Post 135 Ballroom, 1108 Bull St.
Cost: Sold out