Sabre Rattlers: Bluegrass at TC

This weekend on beautiful artificial turf we played with a mini green frisbee that by chance listed all the common kinds of pollen.  The top of the flying disc pictured a yellow leaf within a circle of  named pollens,  stretching my knowledge and associations in ways I hadn’t anticipated; I learned that Kentucky bluegrass is a common lawn grass found in Europe and the United States and one of the very few grasses among thousands of species that can cause seasonal pollen allergy.

What is it about bluegrass that drives away the discomfort of a sneeze or a pair of watery eyes and sets the heart singing anytime of the year? A mixture of country, ragtime, and jazz, bluegrass is a form of American roots music that developed in the 1940s. It uses a small set of acoustic stringed instruments, including mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass, often with vocals. It feels natural, spontaneous, and local, much like a grass roots movement which is drawn and driven by the interests of a community.

The Sabre Rattlers is a lively and heartwarming bluegrass ensemble that grew its roots in Austin, Texas under the direction of lead vocalist and guitarist Mark Abernathy, a graduate of Berklee School of Music. The band, whose curious name evokes the percussive sounds of swords, transplanted to New York City under the care of Nate Olson, lead fiddler and Teachers College student/teaching assistant in music.

We can be in Kentucky, Texas, or anywhere in our country, but actually we right here in New York, listening to old style Americana with a sprinkling of Gospel and itching, without allergies, to hear more.

Don’t miss the  Sabre Rattlers play in the Everett Cafe, Wednesday, 6/30, 5-6pm