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Parallel Paths; The Poetry of Carl Sandburg, the Music of Chris Vallillo

In a program created for the Carl Sandburg Days Festival, Chris Vallillo presents a combination Sandburg’s poetry paired with his original songs and instrumentals as well as several of the songs Sandburg himself collected as a folklorist.

Carl Sandburg playing bell shaped Washburn Guitar

Vallillo’s work has long been compared to that of Sandburg.  He has been described as “Illinois’ pre-eminent prairie-poet singer-songwriter” and is well known for incorporating original and traditional material to make the people and places of “unmetropolitan” America come to life.   Much as Sandburg himself, Vallillo spent several years collecting and documenting the music of rural Illinois, much of which influenced his own work.

Vallillo’s performance will pair his original music and traditional songs Sandburg collected with poems Sandburg wrote.   “For years people have been telling me my work reminded them of Sandburg’s poetry. When I began to explore the possibilities, I was struck by just how powerful the combination was.”