Roots Music CD Celebrates Abraham Lincoln

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Award winning roots musician and folklorist Chris Vallillo celebrates the life of Abraham Lincoln with a unique and eclectic collection of songs for lovers of history and roots music alike. Recently endorsed by the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, Abraham Lincoln in Song weaves historic, period music and contemporary folksongs into a celebration of the life and times of one of our nation's favorite sons.

Abraham Lincoln in song

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.

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On February 12th, the official the kick off of the two year bicentennial celebration of President Abraham Lincoln's birthday, roots musician and folklorist Chris Vallillo will release Abraham Lincoln in Song, a unique and eclectic collection of songs for lovers of history and roots music alike. Recently endorsed by the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, Abraham Lincoln in Song weaves historic, period music and contemporary folksongs into a celebration of the life and times of one of our nation's favorite sons.

Lincoln's life spanned a period of great change, growth and struggle in our young nation, and the music of his era movingly characterizes these remarkable times.

"I hope the collection of music in this project helps shed light on one of history's most beloved figures; not only as a remarkable leader, but as a man, who knew and loved many of these very songs himself," Vallillo says.

The project is educational as well as entertaining, with comprehensive liner notes including interesting anecdotes about the songs and composers. "I wanted to show the importance behind that particular choice of music in relation to the life of Abraham Lincoln," said Vallillo. The songs were recorded using Vallillo's extensive collection of vintage instruments in order to capture the correct sonic texture. Even the cover art reflects meticulous attention to detail, with a rare photograph of the actual Lincoln stove pipe hat now in the collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL.

Vallillo is an award winning performer with an affinity for American roots music and a gift for translating historic topics into modern day understanding without losing the bedrock and foundation from which they surface. An accomplished six-string and bottleneck slide guitarist, Chris is well known for incorporating original and traditional material to make the people and places of "unmetropolitan" America come to life. From 2006 through early 2008, he served as the Illinois State Scholar for New Harmonies, the Smithsonian Institution's traveling exhibit on roots music. During that time Vallillo worked with a world class exhibition that told the story of roots music in its many forms, from blues to folk to gospel, to country, to ethnic to bluegrass and more-a virtual sound track to the melting pot that is America.

Syndicated columnist Ken Bradbury notes, "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."

Vallillo's Abraham Lincoln in Song is an ideal soundtrack for the bicentennial celebration honoring one of our country's most beloved leaders. From the haunting "Battle Cry of Freedom," through the poignant "We are Coming Father Abra'am" and the original Minstrel song version of "Dixie's Land," Abraham Lincoln in Song is a fitting tribute to the man, the place music held in his life, and the place both still hold in American life today.

"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 Funkenbush
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
Springfield, Illinois

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