When fiddle player Colleen Heine and upright bassist Zachary Smith uprooted their lives in Savannah for a new start in Colorado two years ago, they promised they’d be back.
Heine and Smith were half of the celebrated Americana quartet The Accomplices. They will join frontman Matt Eckstine and drummer Stan Ray for a special reunion show Dec. 29 at Service Brewing.
From 2010-17, The Accomplices garnered a large local and regional following, selling out shows and kickstarting the popular Homegrown Holiday Hoedown, still an annual tradition. Part of the band’s popularity centered around a highly accessible sound culled from a variety of folk and pop influences.
They released two studio albums, 2011’s “Canned Beans” and 2014’s “A Truck, A Train, An Old Dump Pile,” as well as an EP, “Mountain Buzz,” in 2015 and a live album, “Live at the Mars Theatre,” in 2016.
The reunion show will be the first live set they’ve played together since the "So Long, Not Farewell" concert in February 2017 at Service Brewing.
“We always knew that wasn’t the last show,” Heine said from her Colorado home. “I kind of promised everyone that. A couple of months ago, I sent out a text one morning to Matt and Stan and Zach and said, 'Are you guys itching to do an Accomplices reunion show as much as I am?' Immediately, everyone replied and said, yes, let’s do it.”
Heine and Smith, partners in life as well, found a bluegrass scene in Colorado, and occasionally play shows, but their Savannah life of hard gigging is behind them now. Their priorities have shifted after Heine gave birth to a baby boy.
“We pretty immediately found some folks to play with,” Heine said. “We’ve got a bluegrass band out here. We’re not pounding the pavement like we did with the Accomplices. We try to play a gig a couple times a month with this band out here. That’s good enough for us right now. Obviously, we have our hands full, with a 16-month old. Makes it a little harder to have those late-night gigs.”
After The Accomplices parted ways, Eckstine dived head-first into solo gigs and writing. He just released a new two-track EP of originals and is planning on more new releases in the future. He formed a backing band for live shows and the recordings from some of the city’s best players. Eckstine and Ray recently formed a new acoustic project, Chameleon Brotherhood, as well.
“They’ve been doing their own thing,” Heine said. “Matt’s been really working hard and doing great on his solo stuff.”
The reunion show setlist will be reminiscent of Accomplices shows in the past, as they span through their own catalogue and sprinkle in covers.
“I think it will be all The Accomplices classics,” Heine said. “I think when you step away from something for a while and come back to it, it becomes new and fresh again.”