One of Savannah’s most beloved acoustic string bands, The Accomplices, are getting back together again for an intimate show at The Roasting Room.
The Lowcountry roots-based folk band formed in 2010 with Matt Eckstine (guitar), Zach Smith (bass), Colleen Heine (fiddle), and Stan Ray (drums). The quartet won over audiences from the southeast all the way to Alaska with a charming mix of modern bluegrass, Americana, and lovely harmonies. The Accomplices released several live and studio albums including “A Truck, A Train, An Old Dump Pile,” “Canned Beans” and “Live at the Mars Theater.”
In 2017, Smith and Heine—who are married—moved to Colorado, effectively breaking up the band, but because Smith has family in Savannah, they regularly return and often work Accomplices gigs into their visits.
“The last two times we played, they were both at Service Brewery, there were a couple hundred people, it was a rock ’n’ roll kind of stand up show,” said Eckstine. “We thought it would be cool to do a sit down, intimate performance this time around. Kind of re-enact our old theater show that we put together which was the kind of songs that were a little bit softer, that would get lost in the mix of a loud, party atmosphere.”
Eckstine looked at several area venues for their reunion and settled on The Roasting Room in Bluffton.
“I think it is one of the premiere listening rooms in the Southeast,” said Eckstine.
Since The Accomplices are no longer a full time unit, Eckstine performs solo at restaurants and bars, or with his other bands, Chameleon Brothers and The Matt Eckstine Trio with Mark Chesanow and Daniel Malone.
“With the Accomplices the idea was to put together a band that when you came to it the majority of the music you were going to hear was original, and we were going to tour to expand that,” explained Eckstine. “I went back to what I was doing before that which was entertaining rooms of people. It’s just easier to make a living for me that way and it works out better with my lifestyle...a little more grounded. It was a really fun way to spend most of my 20s though.”
Fortunately for audiences and the band alike, The Accomplices are able to get together every once in awhile for a gig. “What I love most about it was we were able to enjoy all that hard work we put into it for so long and be able to pick up where we left off,” said Eckstine. “Every time we’ve picked up and played it’s been like riding a bike and that’s exciting, to have one little practice and...sound pretty good.”
“We all wanted to be able to keep it going if we wanted to and it’s awesome that people still come to the shows after years and years of us not being an active band.”
The Roasting Room reunion show will be a great way to experience The Accomplices’ wonderful songwriting and intricate musical and vocal interplay. “This one is a little different,” said Eckstine. “The other ones we did were kind of like, ‘Hey, let’s have this big party and get back together and play.’ This one is not the kind of room where you come and you’re chatting with everybody. It’s completely focused on listening to the songs. We thought that would be really cool to do this time around. We worked really hard at crafting the songs and the lyrics, and all the harmonies we worked on.”
“We want to be able to hear ourselves. Hopefully the people who come really want to hear us, too.”