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Chris Vallillo

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“Chris Vallillo is a nationally acclaimed folksinger and songwriter who brings the people and places of "unmetropolitan” America to life in story and song. Performing in a roots based style on six string and bottleneck slide guitars, harmonica, jew's-harp and hammer dulcimer, Vallillo weaves original, contemporary and traditional folk songs and narratives into a compelling and entertaining portrait of the history and lifestyle of the Midwest.

Since many of the traditional pieces Chris performs are songs he collected himself from the last pre-radio generation in rural Illinois, his performances are particularly well suited for school, library and museum programs. Today’s audiences are able to see and hear the music performed on period instruments as it was 100 years ago. From the joys of hand-cranked ice cream to the music of Stephen Foster, Jimmy Rogers and the Carter Family it’s an entertaining and educational performance that will have audiences of all ages tapping their toes and singing along.

"He brings to his music (an) eye for detail and a sense of history...Vivid, original story songs... delivered in his crisp expressive tenor."
– Dirty Linen Magazine

"Edgar Lee Masters would be proud."
– River To River

"Vallillo is an exceptional guitarist on six string, flat or finger-picked and bottleneck slide and has a rich deep voice."
– Anarillo, TX

"Some singers play just enough of an instrument to accompany themselves, some great guitar players 'get by' as singers, and a few singer/musicians try their best to tell a good story. Chris Vallillo is the complete package...a haunting voice, a master at his instruments, and a stage presence that holds anyone of any age spellbound. Chris pulls off the nearly impossible task of making poetry of our heritage while maintaining the integrity of the original material. And in Chris's case, that material is the very stuff of which we are made...our history. I am so proud to be from a state that could produce such a consummate performer as Chris Vallillo. "
– Ken Bradbury, author, composer, syndicated columnist

"Fine performances featuring... unadorned music that speaks volumes about the reality of living in the rural Midwest"
– Arts Alive!

"Vallillo's music is infectious. His tunes and melodies are haunting and restrained, uncluttered by studio gimmickry, subtle without a pretense to cleverness."
– Illinois Times

"This is a perfect example of incorporating music to teach history in an engaging way."
– Espie Estrella, Music Education

"With Abraham Lincoln in Song, Chris Vallillo takes the audience on a musical journey, making history come alive with his excellent blending of music and storytelling. He grabbed hold of the museum visitors here, establishing excellent rapport with the audience with this thoughtful, humorous and moving show."
– Phil Funkenbusch Director of Theaters, Shows Division Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Springfield, Illinois

History/Music/Arts | K - Adult | Theme Based or Pure Entertainment