Artist / Program Description:
Chris Vallillo, a nationally acclaimed singer-songwriter and instrumentalist with an affinity for American roots music, brings the people and places of "unmetropolitan” America to life in story and song. He incorporates original and traditional material to form a musical portrait of the Midwest, performing on six-string and bottleneck slide guitars, harmonica, and hammer dulcimer.
Since many of the pieces Chris plays are songs he collected from the last pre-radio generation in rural Illinois, his performances are particularly well-suited for schools, libraries, and museums. 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.
The former host of the award winning public radio performance series Rural Route 3, Vallillo's prairie poet style has been compared to the works of Edgar Lee Masters and Vachel Linsey.
Programs available for festivals, concerts, kids/family shows, and schools include Abraham Lincoln in Song, which uses period music to illustrate Lincoln’s life (adults); Folksong Of Illinois for elementary schools (K-8); and Folk Music and Folk Musicians Of Central Illinois, featuring music Chris collected for the Schuyler Arts Folk Music Project (adults).