performances > Performance and Booking Information

Overview

With vocals, guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and bass fiddle, Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band bring to life music that is woven into the fabric of the United States. They raise the roof with traditional folk songs, bluegrass, old-time country, fiddle tunes, Appalachian music, ragtime, blues, spirituals, railroad and cowboy songs, work songs, sea shanties, reels, breakdowns, ballads, and more. This is American heritage music. 

 

The band has an energy and repertoire that are perfect for many different types of events and venues:

 

  • Performing arts centers and concert halls
  • Music festivals
  • Municipal/community festivals and special events
  • Condos and retirement communities
  • Nightclubs, coffeehouses, and house concerts
  • Museums, libraries, schools, and summer camps

Depending on the type of event and venue, the band might keep it fast-paced, lively, and familiar, or they might dig deeper into the American songbag and delve into the stories behind the songs and the people who brought them to life. See Special Programs for information about performances that highlight specific themes and stories from America's past.

Audiences

Audiences range from kids to adults to the most senior of citizens. Often it’s all ages together in one place, sharing in the music of our heritage together. As Ben Crandell of the Sun-Sentinel wrote about the band,

 

"Rare is the event that engages both me and my young ones in a genuine way."

 

No matter what age group or range is in the audience, Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band know how to put together a show that will entertain all.

Configurations

The size of the band can be scaled depending on the budget and what is appropriate for the audience and venue.

 

  • Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band (5 musicians) - featuring Jack Stamates (fiddle), Lynn Griffith (banjo and vocal), Chris DeAngelis (bass fiddle and vocal), and Sean Edelson (mandolin)
  • Matthew Sabatella (solo) - vocal, guitar, banjo, harmonica, mountain dulcimer
  • Matthew Sabatella + 1 (duo) - adds fiddle, bass fiddle, mandolin, or banjo
  • Matthew Sabatella +2 (trio) - adds fiddle, bass fiddle, mandolin, or banjo

Videos

Following are different performance montages of Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band that showcase different aspects of their repertoire. Every audience is different, and the band knows how to choose the right songs for the setting.

 

American Heritage Mix

This mix features a variety of the quintessential  American musical genres that make up the band's repertoire. The journey is somewhat chronological starting in the American colonies and moving forward to the dawn of rock and roll. The mix includes folk songs, English country dance music, African American spirituals, fiddle tunes, minstrel songs, railroad songs, cowboy songs, ragtime, blues, jazz, old-time country, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll.

 

Goodtime Mix

This mix features fun, upbeat songs from America's past. These are songs the band might play at an outdoor festival, municipal event, party, barbecue, or corporate event.

 

American Classics Mix

This mix features songs that are (or should be) well-known to most Americans. These are essential American songs that are perfect for many occasions.

 

Bluegrass Mix

These songs showcase the Rambling String Band's bluegrass side. If you're looking for a great bluegrass band, look no further.

 

Deep Cuts Mix

This mix features lesser-known American songs, many of which highlight specific aspects of the story of the United States. It showcases the depth of the band's repertoire. These are songs that might be added to a performance in a more formal concert setting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Special Programs

Songs are an incredibly powerful tool to help people connect to the past and a great lens through which to view and understand the story of the United States. Not only do the lyrics directly reflect the joys, hopes, fears, struggles, sorrows, triumphs, and humanity of the real people who lived history, but to follow the path taken by the songs themselves is to understand the great cultural stew that is the United States of America.

Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band have a series of Special Programs that combine music and narrative to highlight different themes and stories from America's past. They can be tailored for any age group and are a fun and engaging way to better understand specific historical and musical topics.

Testimonials

“We are still talking about how great you and The Rambling String Band performed at this year’s All Kids Included Family Arts Festival. Thank you for your professionalism and exceptional artistry. We already know that we want you back for three sets next year, too!”
Carla Hill (Theater Education & Outreach Manager) - South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center

“Led by Sabatella's six-string guitar and his molasses baritone, the band's big sound rolls from Luna's makeshift stage across a room filled with tri-county patrons… Tonight's crowd is extra large, lining up against the walls and squeezed three deep between cases of beer and the cafe's ancient black refrigerator. Along with the band, almost everyone is singing: ‘Heigh, ho, and away we go; Digging up the gold on the Fran-cis-co!’”
Emma Trelles - Sun-Sentinel

"Rare is the event that engages both me and my young ones in a genuine way."
Ben Crandell - Sun-Sentinel

"Your program is fantastic! Thank you so much for entertaining our young patrons and their families at all of our branches this month. I thoroughly enjoyed your program and have heard great reports from other branches as well. Everyone loved singing along to the songs they recognized and I think that everyone went away more educated about the history of our state after the program. It is the ideal Viva 500 program and was everything that I hoped it would be. Best of all, it was enjoyed by young and old alike. I am a bit of a stickler for “family programs” that parents can enjoy as much as their children and your program was perfect. I am looking forward to having you return to entertain our patrons again!"
Cilla Jacobson (Youth Services Coordinator) - Palm Beach County Library System

"What a great concert, thank you SO much for such a fun afternoon! Everyone in the audience, young and old alike, enjoyed hearing the stories and songs of our country. All the different instruments your band played, and hearing such beautiful vocal harmonies really made for a thrilling experience we will never forget."
Lisa Mansell (Sunday Matinee Music Series Manager) - Spanish River Library

"The folks in Union County thoroughly enjoyed Matthew Sabatella's performance of The Real Florida! Matthew's show was the perfect addition to our Viva Florida celebration at our local library. Thank you Matthew for a memorable, wonderful program!"
Mary Brown (Director) Union County Public Library

"What an excellent production, performance, and presentation! Everyone should make an effort to attend one of his shows; it's perfect for all ages. You will be rewarded with a wealth of great music, singing and storytelling as you hear the true blue lyrics of the great folk songs of the U.S. This is an outstanding and original program."
Anne Kelly - Brockway Memorial Library

"...Sabatella's best asset is easily his voice, urgent but unforced, sweetly melancholy in telling personal stories and powerfully evocative in rendering antiquated songs intimate again. It's a great gift, and Sabatella wields it with exceptional talent."
"Best Acoustic Performer" - New Times Broward/Palm Beach - Best of 2005

"Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band are totally amazing! I cannot praise them enough! Matthew related all of the songs to the era of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. It was wonderful. The entire band is great! They are personable, relate to the audience and can perform almost anything I’m sure"
Nancy Ansley (Programs and Exhibits Supervisor) - Broward County Library

“Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band played wonderful classic Americana folk (at Barnacle Historic State Park) which made all the children dance and the parents clap.”
Liz Tracy – Miami New Times

"Just taking a moment to once again say your performance was just perfect! The rave reviews keep coming in. Thank you all for a wonderful show. See you again."
Marsha Decker (Clubhouse Manager/Social Director) - The Grove at Boynton Beach

"Thank you so much for the amazing show yesterday! All day we have been getting rave reviews from the residents saying it was the best Fourth of July show we have ever had at John Knox Village. You all were great!"
Sara Berkowitz (Activities Manager) - John Knox Village

“Miraculously, Hollywood-based folkie Matthew Sabatella has packaged a history lesson in the guise of a strikingly good album and a nerdaliciously compelling live show that tell the story of western expansion across the American heartland through song… ‘ It's the kind of thing that will appeal to just about anybody,’ Sabatella says of the songs on Ballad of America Volume 1 , most of which date back to the early 1800s. The crowd at the Bamboo Room reflected that sentiment, as moms, grandmoms, longhairs, blue collars, and a gaggle of wine-sipping, Virginia Slims-puffing ladies all clapped along and sang like ornery lumberjacks to lines like ‘And we'll range the wild woods over, and once more a-lumbering go!’”
Jonathan Zwickel - New Times Broward/Palm Beach

“This particular afternoon, Sabatella and his close-knit combo — Lynn Griffith on banjo and mandolin, Jack Stamates on fiddle, Sean Edelson on mandolin, and Chris DeAngelis on stand-up bass, with Sabatella on guitar and vocals — play to a tent filled nearly to capacity, its occupants clearly caught up in the familiar strains of the music and, just possibly, a certain whiff of nostalgia.”
Lee Zimmerman - Miami New Times

"Wow... this group was so good. I loved them. The residents loved them, and we definitely want to have them back again. The fact that it is historic and interactive along with entertaining was unique."
Rebecca Waldorf (Director of community Relations) - Aston Gardens at Parkland Commons

“I think they were wonderful. The music was unbelievable.”
Aston Gardens Resident

“Your band is simply wonderful. You brought back American history to us with the music and everything that many of us have forgotten. Your music is simply beautiful.”
John Knox Village Resident

“I think it’s wonderful. You put our history into music. “
Edgewater Pointe Estates Resident

“We just saw Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band and they are fantastic. If you ever get the opportunity to see them do not miss it.”
John Knox Village Resident

“It really was wonderful. We almost felt like we were around the campfire.”
John Knox Village Resident

“I knew every one of those songs. I remember every one of them. It was a terrific show tonight. It really was.
Edgewater Pointe Estates Resident

"Thank you for another GREAT performance and lesson in history! The music was outstanding!! We NEED so much more of this! I think you were able to see how the audience responded....the children were up dancing and the adults were singing and clapping along the whole time!! BRAVO!!!!"
Linda Gail Sindt - All Kids Love to Sing

"Your program on Lincoln this past Sunday was awesome. Amazing how much you can tell about the man through his connection to music."
Patricia McDougle (V.P. Youth Education) - Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge

“Through perseverance and hard work, American settlers turned their faces west toward the dream of finding new lives. In their struggle came the music presented by Mr. Sabatella. Matthew is a talented performer and a teacher not only of music, but of music which should be heard by all.”
Pastricia J. Adams-Sallustio (Social Studies Teacher) - Tequesta Trace Middle School

"Matthew Sabatella's Ballad of America is an interactive program that incorporates American history, stories, and music into one fun-filled, educational program for all ages."
Michele Dye (Naranja Branch Manager) - Miami-Dade Public Library System

Copyright © 2012 by Ballad of America, All rights reserved.