Past Event

CD Release Party for Folksongs of Illinois

Please join us a CD release party for the first two volumes in the Council’s Folksongs of Illinois CD series.

Folksongs of Illinois documents — for the first time — the folk, multi-ethnic, and vernacular music traditions of Illinois from 1800 to 1950. Performers at this concert will include Jon Langford, Janet Bean, Clark "Bucky" Halker, Sones de México, Paul Tyler and the Old Town Fiddle 4, John Rice, and more.

Free food and a cash bar. This is an all ages show children must be accompanied by an adult. The concert will take place in a smoke-free facility.

Reservations are required. Reservations can be made on-line, via email, or by phone at 312.422.5580. CDs will be on sale at the concert.

Illinois has a long and rich musical past that seldom receives the public audience and scholarly attention that it deserves. Many people are familiar with Chicago’s blues and jazz history. However, a wide variety of musical styles enjoyed a long tradition in the state, including folk ballads, fiddle tunes, gospel songs, early country music, bluegrass, and the musical traditions of a multitude of ethnic communities in the state. Irish, German, Polish, Finnish, Mexican, French, Swedish, Serbian, and Czech musicians made important contributions to the state’s musical heritage.

The Illinois Humanities Council will release Folksongs of Illinois in 2007, a three-CD series that will highlight the state’s vibrant musical past. Each CD utilizes older home and field recordings, early commercial releases from 78s and LPs, and new studio recordings of contemporary artists, including performers from many ethnic communities. Each also includes an introductory essay and extensive liner notes written by a scholar. As a public service, the IHC will be working with the Illinois State Library to distribute these CDs free of charge to the state’s 3,000 school libraries. Individuals and organizations may purchase CDs through the University of Illinois Press. The IHC also hopes to develop a free curriculum for teachers to parallel these recordings.

  • Volume 1 offers a selection of Illinois’ best folk music and musicians with songs from Carl Sandburg, the Staples Singers, Jon Langford, Art Thieme, the Girls of the Golden West, the Polish Mountaineers, Special Consensus, Bucky Halker, Janet Bean, Tamburitza Orchestra Javor, and Silvano Ramos and Daniel Ramirez.
  • Volume 2 offers a rich variety of fiddle music with songs from Alison Krauss, Liz Carroll, the Polish Highlanders, Nordic Cowboys, Johnny Frigo, Sar Planina, and Chirps Smith, among others.
  • Volume 3 features Burl Ives (with Pete Seeger), the Bray Brothers, Win Stracke, Mahalia Jackson, Ella Jenkins, Big Bill Broonzy, the Kapugi Brothers, Sons of the Never Wrong, and many more Illinois artists.

To order CDs, contact the University of Illinois Press (800) 621-2736 or (217) 244-4703 or visit their website.

For more information, please call Clark Halker at 312.422.5580.