Another from the Fervor Coulee, pre-blog archive.
Originally published in The Red Deer Advocate, April 18, 2008.
Abraham Lincoln in Song
An album of old-time music from and inspired by the times of Lincoln; there’s a commercial bonanza just a-waitin’!
Within detailed liner notes, Illinois songwriter and musician Chris Vallillo outlines the connection each track has to Lincoln, whether a personal favourite of the sixteenth president of the U.S., an artifact of the time, or a contemporary piece reflecting a historical perspective. Anticipating the bicentennial of his birth, Abraham Lincoln in Song present thirteen tunes and songs from the familiar- Lorena, Hard Times, and Dixie’s Land– to the less known- El-A-Noy and Let the Band Play Dixie.
Vallillo has a pleasant, masculine voice that is fully capable of carrying the nuance of a popular sentimental melody while bringing a bit of bombast to more inspirational numbers. Vallillo’s guitar arsenal is large, and he is accompanied by mandolin, fiddle, bass, and harmonica.
Those interested in the aural tradition and historical basis of familiar songs within a stunning acoustic context are well advised to investigate Abraham Lincoln in Song.