The Accomplices host release party for “A Truck, a Train, an Old Dump Pile” at Southbound Brewery on 5/24; a short review of the album

If you’re a music lover in Savannah, Ga., the place to be this evening is Southbound Brewery for The Accomplices’ release party for their excellent new album A Truck, a Train, an Old Dump Pile. The beer-drinking tickets are $20 and the non-beer-drinking tickets are $15 — but all ticketholders get a copy of the new CD. Soap will open.

Trust me, you might not know it yet, but you want your own copy of A Truck, a Train, an Old Dump Pile.

Singer and guitarist Matt Eckstine got an advance copy of the CD to me a few weeks, and I’ve been listening to it routinely since then. I’m listening to it again as I write this.

I’ve mostly heard The Accomplices — a self-described “lowcountry string band” — in bars or for gigs in relatively big spaces, like the American Legion Ballroom or the outdoor stage at Revival Fest.

A Truck, a Train, an Old Dump Pile captures the energy of those live shows, but there are subtleties here — far more than I can mention in a short blog post — that you just miss in a loud space.

The delicacy of the strings really stands out on this beautifully mixed and mastered record. And so does Eckstine’s voice, which conveys both innocence and experience (there’s your William Blake quote for the day). The songwriting stands out too, especially on quieter songs like “Townes Blue”. Eckstine wrote most of the songs; Eric Daubert wrote “Whiskey and a Smile” and the liner notes give co-writing credits for bassist and vocalist Zachary Smith on “Shawnee Cry” and for fiddler and vocalist Colleen Heine on “Stargazing”. There are also a couple of traditional tunes among the 10: “Darlin’ Cory” and “Cuckoo’s Nest”.

The pacing of the A Truck, a Train, an Old Dump Pile feels just right too, with some effective variations in tempo and in emotion. There are some really fine touches in the playing too, like Smith’s banjo in “Shawnee Cry”. Stan Ray’s drums are always there, but they never overwhelm; good drummers know restraint.

I think I like The Accomplices’ bluegrassier and alt-countrier songs better than their bluesier ones, but that’s just a matter of personal taste.

The party at Southbound should really be something special — especially since the brewery has whipped up a special beer for the occasion. Check out the video:

hissing lawns contributor Jon Waits of Jwaitsphoto shot the photos for the CD cover and gets a bit of glowing thanks in the notes. And another hissing lawns contributor gets a shoutout: “Larry Jack Sammons for using your superhuman powers for good in Savannah’s local music scene.”

Here’s one of Jon’s photos of The Accomplices from a Thursday Night Opry at Trinity UMC in January: