Special Events at the Carl Sandburg Visitors' Center

Songbag Concert Series
A monthly concert series presented by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association in the "Barn" at Carl Sandburg's Birthplace, in an intimate smoke, and alcohol, free environment, showcasing acoustic music in the traditional and folk style. 313 E 3rd Street, Galesburg IL, (309) 342-2361. The concerts are free and open to the public, however a $3.00 donation is greatly appreciated. All shows start at 7:00pm.
Date Performer

February 28, 2015


Hammer and Pick
Hammer and Pick


Hammer and Pick members are Jon Wagner, Jan Sams and John Heasly.  They have been performing in the Galesburg and Bishop Hill areas for nearly 30 years.  The original members of the band were Bob Black of Galesburg, the Rev. Wayne Nordstrom of Bishop Hill, and Jon Wagner of rural Rio.  Sams, of Galva, joined the group in 1995.  Following the deaths of Nordstrom and Black in the late 1990s, Heasley, of Galesburg, joined the ensemble to make it a trio once again.


Wagner is an anthropology professor at Knox College and plays the hammered dulcimer, claw-hammered banjo, harmonica and bodhran.  Sams, a registered nurse and Kewanee native, plays the string bass, autoharp, and six- and twelve-string guitars. Heasley, a singer/songwriter, plays acoustic guitar, and in addition to playing with Hammer and Pick, he also does solo work.  The group has been featured at area festivals and concerts, including an annual appearance at Jordbruksdagarna in Bishop Hill.

March 28, 2015



Brian Fox EllisBarry Cloyd

Brian Fox Ellis & Barry Cloyd




April 25, 2015



Bob and Kristie Black

Bob & Kristie Black



Bob and Kristie Black have bluegrass roots going straight back to Bill Monroe, “The Farther of Bluegrass Music.”  Bob toured and recorded with the late great musical master during the 1970s, learning much about songwriting and performing which he now brings to audiences with his wife Kristie.  Together, they draw on country music traditions to enliven their shows, which feature many original duets and instrumentals.  Going beyond Bluegrass, Bob and Kristie blend mountain soul with their own creative musical style, giving each performance a uniquely individual flavor.   

May 30, 2015




Sawdust Hill 


Sawdust Hill



Sawdust Hill began when Trevor Wheetman and Sylvie Davidson, two Seattle singer/songwriters, found themselves meeting for the first time in a theatre in Ventura, CA. Mutual admiration, fate, and the Californian spring conspired to write a love story, and a partnership of the very best kind was born. More than a band, Sawdust Hill is a name for the artistic endeavors of two people who are moved by life to listen, look, reflect, and create.

We are grateful to John Heasly who has coordinated the Songbag Concert Series for so many years for the Association.

A donation of $3.00 per person is suggested as the door (or gate) entry fee.  These door receipts go to the Songbag Concert performers to supplement a base amount paid by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association.  If you enjoy the concert, please be generous in support of our performers. 

Songbag Concert Series performers and refreshment costs are underwritten by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association and its members at a cost of approximately $2,500 per year. If you would like to support the Songbag Concert Series, become a member of the Association, and/or feel free to make a donation to the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association, PO Box 585, Galesburg, IL 61402-0585.

Contact the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association: carl@sandburg.org
Suggest performers or get information about the Songbag Concert Series: heasly@frontiernet.net