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“A perfect way to share the civil rights struggle in a new way with our diverse audience.” --Beth Heldebrandt, Eastern Illinois University


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 movement.

In 2015, 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.

Vallillo’s multi-instrumentalist talents are at the heart of the recording; 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 lends his award winning R & B vocals to Vallillo’s bringing these songs to life in a way that respects the tradition, but doesn’t feel stuck in the past.


 On April the 11th at 7:00 pm, Rocky Maffit, Ben Willis, Eric Lambert, and I took the stage at the Hainline Theater to bring my show "Oh Freedom! Live" to life as a theatrical performance along with the 42 voice choir the WIU singers.  We captured that amazing night and and the DVD of that evening is now available!  


Check out the Trailer here

Oh Freedom

SKU: 700261432113
    1. Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd
    2. Halleluia I’m Travelin’
    3. We Shall Not Be Moved
    4. Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody (Turn Me Around)
    5. If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus
    6. Oh Freedom!
    7. Birmingham Sunday
    8. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
    9. Wade in the Water
    10. This Little Light of Mine
    11. We Shall Overcome

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