Hickory Ridge Concert Series

2020 Season, Covid style!

Friends,  The Illinois State Museum has now announced that due to the ongoing CORVID-19 virus spread, all public programs at all branches of the Illinois State Museum will be canceled for the foreseeable future.  I will be re-booking acts as soon as our mutual schedules permits.  As of now, we have no word about when we will be able to return to the Dickson Mounds Museum, but keep an eye on this web site for updates as the situation evolves. Our sister series, Music At The Museum has been permanently cancelled.
In the meantime, I have been performing a series of live streaming concerts as a way to keep us all connected and a way to keep my own sanity!  I ALSO PLAN TO BEGIN PRESENTING HICKORY RIDGE CONCERTS VIRTUALLY AND AM EXPLORING THE TECH TO DO SO. You can learn about upcoming shows, by liking Chris Vallillo Music or Hickory Ridge Concerts on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/chrisvallillo/ OR https://www.facebook.com/hickoryridgeconcerts).
The Hickory Ridge Concert Series is committed to providing a safe and welcoming atmosphere where people enrich their spirits through the power of music. Our commitment to that mission continues and we are taking this step to help assure the safety of our artists and our audience.  Please take care of yourselves, avoid large groups of people and be sure to constantly wash your hands. We want to see you all back at Dickson Mounds when this has passed!
The Hickory Ridge Concert Series is a once a month acoustic music concert series that I’ve been producing in one form or another non stop since 1989.  We are currently working in partnership with the Dickson Mounds Museum, a branch of the Illinois State Museum that sits on the bluffs of the Illinois River Valley overlooking the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge.   This has been an excellent partnership and we just celebrated 25 years at Dickson  Mounds (30 years in all).  We feature folk, blues, old time, singer-songwriter and even on rare occasions, bluegrass music in the handicapped accessible 150 seat auditorium of the Dickson Mounds Museum.
We want to thank the Big Horse Inn and Suites in Lewistown,  IL for providing rooms for our 
performers.  Big Horses a family run hotel and winery in Lewistown and is an excellent,
comfortable and well run  place to stay! The Winery offers great food and is a fine place to
havea quick dinner before the show.  We hope you will support them as they have supported us!   Check them out by clicking on their logo.
PERFORMERS I usually book solo up to trio professional players from the region and only rarely use larger act.  Performers who are interested in being considered for performance should download the “Potential Performer Letter“ to learn about the gig.  If you are appropriate to the venue and are interested in being considered, please email me (do not call).  As you would expect, I always have three times as many interested performers as I have performance slots so be prepared to wait a while.  NEW:  I will be moving Hickory Ridge Concerts to a virtual platform soon.  I will be booking Artists to do live stream performances in leu of in person performers.  Artists need to be technically and artistically accomplished in live stream performances and be content appropriate to the venue.  Email Chris Vallillo at vallillo@macomb.com to be considered for the series.
AUDIENCE:  Concerts take place every third Saturday of the month all year long in the comfort of the Dickson Mounds Museum auditorium. We feature the best in roots, folk and acoustic music of all kinds. Showtime is 7:00 pm, admission is $10.00 for adults; $5.00 for kids under 12.

January  18th,  Jonas Friddle  https://youtu.be/55lmUTEfeSE

Jonas Friddleis a singer, songwriter and Old-Time banjo player whose songs have received TheJohn Lennon Songwriting Award, First Place in the Great American Song Contest and a nomination for Album of the Year in the Independent Music Awards. Friddle was raised in the mountains of North Carolina and his tunes bear the marks of a musician who has done his time in pub sessions and square dance halls, and his writing is full of imagery, honesty and humor.   
February 15th, Katie Dahl  https://youtu.be/Rds6PV2i7wM
Described as “a honey-throated alto thrush and an eagle-eyed songwriter”, Dahl combines old-fashioned populism, an abiding love of the land and wickedly smart love songs, all delivered in a rich and expressive alto. 
Katie has performed her original songs everywhere from the dusty cliff country of Mali, West Africa, to the canals of southern France, to the American northwoods. The depth and power of Katie’s alto voice, the literate candor of her original songs, and the easy humor of her live performances have earned her numerous songwriting awards, as well as the chance to share stages with such luminaries as Dar Williams, Peter Mulvey, and Cheryl Wheeler.
March 21st, Ariane Lydon   https://youtu.be/VN2kFrz6jhA
Ariane Lydon’s virtuosic touch on 12- and 6-string guitars, keyboards, Celtic harp, and bodhrán come from a long apprenticeship in music across three continents. Born in Sussex, England, to a British UN Director and a New York artist, Lydon lived in Santiago, Chile, until she was 10. Her mother, the daughter of a jazz and ragtime pianist, immersed Ariane in classical piano music from age 7. For the past 2 decades, Ariane Lydon has toured and performed at Folk Festivals, Performing Arts Centers, Listening Venues, Radio Stations, and House Concerts throughout the US and Canada
April 18th, Willie Carlysle   
Willi Carlisle is the raconteur and folksinger you don’t know about yet.  In just two years of touring, The Washington Post has said he is “powerful”and “worth seeking out.” Sing Out! says he's an "Ozark renaissance folklorist."  Twin Cities Pioneer calls him “impressive on banjo, accordion, and fiddle.” In Cincinnati, a reviewer said his songs and stories “turn the cliche of solo performance on their head.” With a varied and
exuberant program of folksongs, stories, and original stomps and croons, Willi has performed internationally with talent like Dom Flemons, Mary Gauthier, Los Texmaniacs, Cory Branan, and more.
May 18th, Cari Ray and the Shakey Legs


With her first note, Cari transports you to a back alley juke joint around the early part of the last century with clever, insightful songwriting and a style rooted in the tradition of early American music – acoustic blues, folk, ragtime, gospel and more.   Add the powerful harmony vocals and tasteful percussion of Dionne Ward, and you have Cari Ray & The Shaky Legs. With a smile and a wink, this talented duo will have your heart breaking one minute and your hips shaking the next, all while wondering where they’re hiding the rest of band.
June 20th, Rocky Ford Rounders  img_4197_536.mp4
The "Rocky Ford Rounders" band is comprised of four veteran Central Illinois musicians.  Leading off on vocals and guitar is Marc Boon, well-known for his years with rhythm and blues band, Hip Pocket.  Claudia Kaufman adds vocal harmonies and sweet fiddle backup, while Gary Kaufman provides driving rhythm on clawhammer-style banjo.  Bass player, Steve Knecht, gained his expertise from years of playing Rockabilly and Swing music in the Bloomington-Normal area. The combined musical talents of these four band members are sure to get your feet tapping and your hands clapping. 
July 18th, Joe Rollin Porter    https://youtu.be/r26gAIIkXwI
Joe Rollin Porter’s unique finger-style guitar and resonant vocals breathe new vibrancy into old songs, as he crafts timely and personal gems from the rich ore of the folk & blues tradition.  Joe embraces these venerable tunes as integral parts of his being that have nourished and sustained him for years, making his performances statements of his own artistic expression more than mere tributes or covers.  His live solo performances are dynamic, engaging, and tremendously entertaining for casual observers and music enthusiasts alike, and his dazzling guitar work often leaves other guitarists gazing in wonder.
August 22nd, Escaping Pavement   https://youtu.be/wZToyzXGVNA
The award winning duo Escaping Pavement performs a high energy blend of Americana, Bluegrass and folk.  Sprung entirely from an acoustic guitar, a mandolin, and two voices, this duo brings a fiery passion, wistful reflection, awestruck adventurousness to the stage with heartstring-plucking poignancy and expert musicianship.  The Detroit Music Award winning album, The Night Owl was released in summer of 2016, and songs like “Fuel The Fire,” “Derailed,” and “Mary” crackle and shine with the synchronicity they’ve built up over a dozen years together.  This'll be one of he best shows of the season!
September 19th, Lambert and Char https://youtu.be/LZAw5TbCY8s
Guitarist Eric Lambert impresses audiences with Americana infused with bluegrass, blues, rock, and dosed with soul.  Eric has distinguished himself as a songwriter, recording artist, musician, performer, record label owner, as well as a teacher of Americana music. 
Lambert’s palpable joy, earthy voice, improvisational skills, and precision licks win audiences anew and retain fans, leaving them energized and inspired after a show.  He is joined by Char, a soulful singer with a scorching voice!
October 17th, Spook Handy     https://youtu.be/BtYmV4eillo
In 2003, Pete invited Spook to perform with him a the Pumpkin Festival in Beacon, New York. The two hit it off.  What happened that day profoundly changed the direction of Spook’s life. Over the next ten years, Spook learned a lot of Pete’s songs and the stories behind them. And he learned a lot about who Pete Seeger was and what he stood for. Spook was profoundly impressed with Pete’s belief that each of us has all the tools we need to shape ourselves and our world into what we wish them to be – a belief Spook himself has held for most of his adult life. For some, these tools are within our grasp. For some they are at arms length. And for others they are just beyond arm’s length. But they are all attainable if we work together.
November 21st, Suzi Vinnick  https://youtu.be/4hS6Z8BrTXo
A Saskatoon native transplanted to the Niagara Region of Ontario, Roots and Blues singer Suzie Vinnick is a 3X Juno Nominee, CFMA Award winner, and a 10-time winner of the Maple Blues Award for songwriting, female vocalist, acoustic act and more. Suzie has a voice you’ve heard a thousand times and one you’ll never forget. It soars, it growls, it whispers and it shouts from a deep, deep well of emotion. The pure joy she exudes when she picks up that guitar is so worth the show.
December  19th,
Brian Fox Ellis and Barry Cloyd cancelled, I'll post a replacement soon.

Chris Exclusively Uses

  • Spotify - White Circle
  • Apple Music - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle


Chris Endorses


© 2020 Gin Ridge Music