CELEBRATE THE 2018 ILLINOIS BICENTENNIAL in a special program of

ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN SONG featuring Chris Vallillo


Chris Vallillo




Chris Vallillo is a singer/songwriter and folk musician who makes the people and places of “unmetropolitan” America come to life in song. Having spent the last 30 years in the rural Midwest, he has a natural affinity for American roots music.  Performing on six-string and bottleneck slide guitars and harmonica, Vallillo weaves original, contemporary, and traditional songs and narratives into a compelling and entertaining portrait of the history and lifestyles of the Midwest. Dirty Linen magazine described the music as, “vivid, original story songs” delivered with an “eye for detail and a sense of history” while Folk Wax Magazine Editor, Arthur Woodsaid “Vallillo’s guitar playing flows like warm honey and is a true aural delight.

 His music has a timeless quality about it, with one foot in the past and one foot in the future.  His prairie poet style has been compared to Edgar Lee Masters and Vachel Lindsay and you can hear the strains of the Carter Family and Jimmy Rogers reflected in his writing.  It’s roots based original and contemporary folk with the rich acoustic textures of bottleneck slide, finger style and flatpicked guitars that echo the influences of Mississippi John Hurt, Norman Blake, Doc Watson and John Fahey.

 His 2008 project, a one man show titled Abraham Lincoln in Song, received the endorsement of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and the accompanying CD of music reached #10 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Album Chart in March of 2008.  In 2013, he released the CD “The Last Day of Winter“.

His most recent project, Oh Freedom! was released on Martin Luther King Day in 2016 and charted at # 6 of the National Folk charts.  To view his complete discography, please click here.


Oh Freedom! Songs of the Civil Rights Movement

Multi-instrumental performances and narration of pivotal songs that inspired and sustained our nation's Civil Rights Movement that resonate with audiences today.

Abraham Lincoln in Song: 

The life of Abraham Lincoln spanned a period of change, growth and struggle in our young nation, and the music of his era movingly characterizes these times. Period music, Lincoln's own words and stories combine to tell the story of our greatest President, his life and times.

In the Press

2016 The CD  Oh Freedom! Songs of the Civil Rights Movement reaches # 6 on the Folk Charts

2015: Created the one man show Oh Freedom! Songs of the Civil Rights Movement featuring 11 pivotal songs from the movement.