Rhythm & Bows
Randy Sabien began his musical career in fourth grade growing up in Rockford, IL. His original aspiration was to be a rock and roll drummer but when the orchestra came up short on strings and he wound up with a violin in his hand instead of drumsticks. Undaunted, he taught himself to play the guitar and was soon jamming in 60s garage bands while learning to play violin in the orchestra. By the time Randy went on to study classical violin in college, he had already begun his alternative education in earnest pouring into artists like Papa John Creach (Jefferson Airplane), Sugarcane Harris, and Vassar Clements. A seminal event happened when Randy went to an Asleep at the Wheel concert. One of the fiddlers recommended he check out the French, swing-era jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. Putting the needle down on It Don't Mean a Thing was the defining moment for Randy's career. He found his niche and began teaching himself to play jazz and blues on the violin. With a unique foundation in self-education, Randy began organizing what he learned into a method for alternative strings. This led to him founding and chairing the string department for the The Berklee College of Music when he was only 21 years old. After 3 years in education Randy was ready to devote his full attention to playing and recording with his own group. In 1983 In A Fog was released on Flying Fish records, the first of 6 acclaimed jazz/blues albums. His reputation as a multi-instrumentalist sideman also gained momentum. On his most recent album Rhythm and Bows, Randy reworks the concept of the string section to make it sound more like a horn section playing alongside his Fiddlehead Band. The material is a funky fusion of bluesy jazz, fiddling and rock and roll with as many as 9 musicians on stage at any given time. Randy has appeared on PBS's Austin City Limits, NPR's A Prairie Home Companion and Jazz Reflections, major festivals and concert venues nationwide. He has also shared the stage with Greg Brown, Kate Wolf, Jim Post, Corky Seigel, Brian Torff, Clyde Stubblefield, Vassar Clements, Tom Paxton, Mimi Farina, Garrison Keillor & The Guys All-Star Shoe Band and The Blue Canvas Orchestra at Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. Now in his fourth decade as a full time musician Randy continues a busy schedule of performing, recording and teaching his way from coast to coast and abroad.