Performances > Booking
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:
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. Visit BalladofAmerica.com for more about Special Programs that highlight specific themes and stories from America's past.
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 matther 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.
Visit the Highlights page to see some of the places they've played.
The size of the band can be scaled depending on the budget and what is appropriate for the audience and venue.
Check out the Videos page for 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.
“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
“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
"Rare is the event that engages both me and my young ones in a genuine way."
Ben Crandell - Sun-Sentinel
"...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
"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
"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
"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