Music has been an integral part of American history even before the phonograph and radio. And while it is quite easy to read about 19th century history without a musical backdrop, it is quite possible that the reader is not getting the complete picture. In an attempt to bring that broader context to one important 19th century American, Chris Vallillo has recorded Abraham Lincoln in Song. With simple folk instruments (guitar, bass, mandolin, harmonica) and down-to-earth vocals, Vallillo and company deliver 13 songs from Lincoln's era. The first surprise to many listeners will be how familiar several of these songs are. "Lorena" has been a folk favorite for years (recorded by John Hartford and many others), "Hard Times Come Again No More" (recorded by Nanci Griffith and others), "Aura Lee" (transformed into "Love Me Tender" in the 1950s), and "Dixie" (one of Lincoln's favorites). It is also surprising how closely many of these songs were woven into the fabric of everyday life. "Battle Cry of Freedom" may have sold as many as 700,000 copies of sheet music, meaning that the song found its way to the piano parlors of thousands of American homes. Abraham Lincoln in Song is enjoyable both as a collection of folk songs and as a collection that adds context to one of America's most fondly remembered presidents.
Performance CreditsChris Vallillo Primary Artist,Guitar,Mandolin,Jew's Harp,Vocals,Snare Drums,Slide Guitar
Tim Beattie Harmonica
Gary Gordon Guitar
Mark Stoffel Fiddle,Mandolin
Ross Sermons Acoustic Bass
Technical CreditsGary Gordon Engineer
Chris Vallillo Arranger,Producer,Engineer