Farming has been the backbone of rural America and that heritage has been preserved in an extensive body of traditional and contemporary folk songs that tell the stories of the hardworking people who have struggled to live this way of life for generations.
From traditional songs like “The Farmer is the Man,” to the dust bowl ballads of Woody Guthrie, to the works of contemporary songwriters, the subject of farm life has long been fertile ground for folk musicians. Award-winning folklorist and songwriter Chris Vallillo will perform a selection of the most poignant of these songs at 2 p.m. Sunday at the DeKalb County History Center as a way to look at the past and the future of the family farm.
Vallillo is a singer, songwriter and roots musician who makes the people and places of “unmetropolitan” America come to life in song. Having spent the past 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.
This program is presented in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibit “Crossroads: Change in Rural America.” It is sponsored by the Illinois Arts Council and Illinois Humanities.
For more information about this and other upcoming programs visit dekalbcountyhistory.org or call 815-895-5762.
The DeKalb County History Center is located at 1730 N. Main St. in Sycamore.