Guitarist to kick off Fall Sandburg Songbag Concert Series

Martha Jane Downey
Guitarist to kick off Fall Sandburg Songbag Concert Series
GALESBURG, IL –Blues musician Little Joe McLerran will kick off the Fall Sandburg Songbag Series on August 13, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg.  The Songbag concerts will now be held on the second Sunday of each month starting at 4 p.m.

From Tulsa, Oklahoma, Little Joe won the Memphis International Blues Challenge as a solo performer.  He plays pre-war blues with the Piedmont style rooted in America’s Southeast seaboard.  “I’ve had a number of different influences over the years. Much of my inspiration comes from artists most people have never heard of and I like that a lot,” McLerran said.

Following the 2010 release of his third critically acclaimed CD “Believe I’ll Make a Change,” Little Joe joined forces with Jazz at Lincoln Center as part of the Rhythm Road. The Rhythm Road is an educational and cultural exchange program started in the 1950s by the U.S. State Department.  Little Joe has performed worldwide, from the United States to Italy to Brazil, to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.   More can be learned at

Little Joe McLerran will perform in the Sandburg Site’s Barn at 313 E. Third Street, Galesburg. The show starts at 4 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. with a break for refreshments around 5 p.m. A donation of $5 per person is suggested.  This concert is sponsored by David and Liz Berntson in honor of James Henry Range, Foley Photo Studio, the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 

Turas, the Irish band from Peoria, will return to the Sandburg Songbag on September 10, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.  Pat and Kelly Kane will be sponsors of this concert.

Carl Sandburg was a collector and performer of America’s folk songs. The series is named in honor of Sandburg’s book “The American Songbag,” published in 1927.

The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site includes the home where the famed poet and biographer was born. For more information, visit

The site is operated by the Illinois Department Natural Resources.  IDNR protects the state’s natural and historic resources, which contribute to education, culture and the economy. IDNR sites include ancient burial mounds, forts and buildings erected by settlers, and homes connected to famous Illinoisans.
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