The story of the Civil Rights Movement has been described as one of the greatest singing movements that this country has ever experienced. From the Freedom Riders to the the jails of Montgomery, Alabama, to Parchman Prison and all the way to Washington DC, both old and new “Freedom Songs” would become the backbone of the nonviolent civil disobedience movement lead by Dr Martin Luther King and countless others.
In 2014, award winning roots musician and folklorist Chris Vallillo created the show Oh Freedom! featuring 11 of the pivotal songs that inspired and sustained this landmark movement. This recording captures the music of that show.
Vallillo’s multi-instrumentalist talents are at the heart of the recording; a rich blend of roots based acoustic and electric guitars and slide guitars, mandolin and bass beautifully performed on his extensive collection of vintage instruments. He’s joined by Grammy nominated percussionist Rocky Maffit, who also lends his distinctive R & B vocals to Vallillo’s own resonant baritone bringing these songs to life in a way that respects the tradition, but doesn’t feel stuck in the past.
With liner notes that tell the story of the movement and the history of the songs, this is a timely recording perfect for Martin Luther King Day or Black History Month.
Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd
Halleluia I’m Travelin’
We Shall Not Be Moved
Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody (Turn Me Around)
If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Wade in the Water
This Little Light of Mine
We Shall Overcome