Please see our Upcoming Events listed in the right sidebar and full calendar here.    Lamplighter Sessions- more info here

The Carpe has a talk-free listening room separate from its main bar-dining area. The room, noted for its great acoustics and sound system, seats 60 people comfortably but can hold 70 people who are enthralled enough by a performance that they only almost forget that their quarters and style are seriously cramped.

Due to the dearth of good small performance spaces, the Carpe has attracted people on the singer-songwriter circuit, and gained a national reputation among songwriters as a decent venue with good sound and wonderful attentive audiences. To date, our lobbying efforts for a mandatory audience have failed– come and enjoy the solitude as you listen to amazing talent with 2 to 15 others, or enjoy the show with more people than can reasonably fit, or anything in between.


Shows are primarily on weekend nights, and there is a cover charge for all performances except the periodic open stages. Reservations are recommended for all shows to help us plan for an evening.

In cases when we are reaching capacity, reservations will be held until 15 minutes before showtime.  A bird who shows up and is willing to pay is worth two on paper.  Please contact us if you do not intend to come, or may be late, or can’t use all the tickets you have reserved or paid for in advance.

****Advance tickets are sold for those shows which experience demonstrates are likely to sell out.

For some of these shows, we will be using on an online ticket sales program known as Brown Paper Tickets.  These credit card prepayments will automatically include a fee for this, which should not be much more than $2.  The link will be provided on the page for that show.

For shows that do not have that link, contact us by phone (920-563-9391) to reserve your seats and make arrangements to pay if requested. Sending a check is the preferred option.

We do not have a box office or even an office, really. Someone answering the phone may be serving customers when you call.  Please forgive the inability to answer a lot of questions at busy times, and consider calling back later.

For weather and other reasons, shows are occasionally cancelled.  There is the occasional sellout.  Do not drive from Chicago (or any other location, in case you read literally) without calling first to see if the show you wish to attend is already sold out, or has been cancelled.

Weekly E-mail updates

Please sign up for our e-mail list at the bottom of this page if you wish to receive weekly updates which may or may not contain more information than is listed in the calendar.


Bill has written a treatise on this. After wading through it, if you still want to play here, contact Bill by phone (late mornings is best), or e-mail him at Existence has its vagaries. That means that e-mails may not be noticed.  Phone calls, being immediate, may help to catch the worm.  Not that Bill is a worm.

The Carpe has a good sound system with quality microphones, speakers, and monitors.

Name Droppings

While the Carpe does not have a policy restricting any kind of music, most of the performances are by singer-songwriters, since they are the majority of those who seek to be booked. Occasionally there is a bluegrass band, or a jazz combo, a play, a poetry performance, a chamber music quartet, a reading by Ursula LeGuin, a stump appearance by Carole King, or an internationally acclaimed cellist…

Among those who have appeared here in the last 24 years are Adrian + Meredith, Jerry Alexander, Tricia Alexander, Muriel Anderson, Andrus and the Mariners, the Austin Lounge Lizards, Baba Ganouj, Perry Baird, Sam Baker, Simon Balto, Basho and Parks, Patrick Ball, Dave Batti, Ben Bedford, Robert Bell, Peter & Lou Berryman, BingBong,Tony Bird, Birds of Chicago, Rachel Bissex, Paul Black, Mike Blakely, Carsie Blanton, Rory Block, Hugh Blumenfeld, Erin Bode, Boo Bradley, Ray Bonneville, LJ Booth, Bryan Bowers, Ralston Bowles, Boulder Acoustic Society, Claude Bourbon, Boxty, Brad & Harmony, the Briar Pickers, Chuck Brodsky, Jay Bullock, Katie Burns, Jonathon Byrd, the Soucie Brothers, the Brothers Quinn, Greg Brown, Pieta Brown, the Buzzards, Andrew Calhoun, Fred Campeau & Mitch Thomas, Kate Campbell, Bill Camplin, Savannah Camplin, Caitlin Canty, Craig Cardiff, Peter Case, Paul Cebar, Phyllis Chapell, Chenille Sisters, the Chiara Quartet, Slaid Cleaves, Michael Cockram, Steve Cohen, Cold Satellite, Tracy Jane Comer, Corinne Compton, Les Compton, Don Conoscenti, Special Consensus, Billy Conway, Count this Penny, Ronny Cox, Walter Craft, Jim Craig, Vivien Craig, Joe Crookston, Paul Curreri, Catie Curtis, Jeremy Moses Curtis, Katie Dahl, the Danberrys, Matthew Davies, Davis, Rachael Davis, Ben de la Cour, Sims Delaney-Pothoff, Maggie Delaney-Pothoff, Kris Delmhorst, Krista Detor, Kitty Donohoe, Pat Donohue, the Dorkestra, Martin and Chris Dowling, Mike Dowling, David HB Drake, Casey Driessen, David James Duncan, Tom Dundee, Antje Duvekot, Bob Dylan, Fred Eaglesmith, Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart, Cliff Eberhardt, Mare Edstrom, Ana Egge, Kat Eggleston, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Chad Elliott, Vicky Emerson, Mark Erelli, John Fabke, Tim Fast, Stephen Fearing, Mandy Fer & Dave McGraw, Mike and Amy Finders, Ella Fitzgerald, BeJae Fleming, Marianne Flemming, Wade Fernandez, Foma, Steve Forbert, Mel Ford, Steve Ford, Stephen Foster, Jeffrey Foucault, Kaia Fowler, Kenn Fox, David Francey, Hannah Frank, Denice Franke, Andy Friedman, Ari & Mia Friedman, Tom Freund, Mrs. Fun, Tret Fure, Mary Gaines, Annie Gallup, Alan Gerber, Vance Gilbert, Steve Gillette, Tif Ginn, Marti Gobel, Adrianne Gonzalez, David Goodrich, John Gorka, Tracy Grammer, Grass Food and Lodging, Meridian Green and Gene Parsons, Jan Lucas Grimm, Tim Grimm, Judd Grossman, Matt Haimovitz, Hamell on Trial, Spook Handy, Chris Hanson Band, J. Hardin, Corey Matthew Hart, Harpeth Rising, Reggie Harris, Rick Harris, Josh Harty, Liz Harvey, Heartsfield, Ernie Hendrickson, Margo Hennebach, Eric Heywood, Phil Heywood, Anne Hills, Malcolm Holcombe, Cynthia Holt, Kira Hooks,  Annelies Howell, David Huckfelt, Dakota Dave Hull, Bill & Kate Isles, David Jacobs-Strain, Nick Jaina, Joe Jencks, Michael Johnson, Prudence Johnson, Scott Jones, Pete Jonsson, Martyn Joseph, Ray Kamalay, Christine Kane, Lucy Kaplansky, Betsy Kaske, Chris Kasper, Tom Kastle, James Keelaghan, Paddy Keenan, The Kennedys, Jill Kessenich, Beth Kille, Jason Klagstad, Patrick Klaybor, Dan Kleiman, Jess Klein, Chris Kokesh, Micky Korb, Eric Koskinen, Krause Family Band, Jan Krist, Dayna Kurtz, Sleepy LaBeef, Brianna Lane, Gaelynn Lea, Frankie Lee, Albert Lee, Phil Lee, Adrian Legg, Shane Leonard, Howard Levy, Bernice Lewis, Tina Lie, L’il Rev, Live Bait, Sam Llanas, Rebeccah Loebe, Bobby Long, Matt Lorenz, Radoslav Lorkovic, Lorenz Family, John Louis, the Lowest Pair, Brian Lucas, Country Joe MacDonald, Karen Mal, Dave Mallett, Cindy Mangsen, Jan Marra, Jeffrey Martin, David Massengill, Jeff Mason, Hugh Masterson, Peter Mayer, Laurie McClain, Michael McDermott, John McEuen, Erin McKeown, Sarah McQuaid, Pamela Means, Nicki Mehta, Mike & Ruthie, Lynn Miles, Bill Miller, Eric Miller, Buddy Mondlock, Mother Banjo, Alastair Moock, Kristin Mooney, Jay Moran, Dave Moore, Bill Morrissey, Pete Morton, Mother Banjo, Geoff Muldaur, Peter Mulvey, Larry Murante, Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers, Lee Murdock, Dan Navarro, Roxanne Neat, Dave Nelson, JT Nero, Carrie Newcomer, Brett Newski, Jon Neufeld, New Pioneers, Nickel and Rose, the Nields, Miles Nielsen and Dan McMahon, Colin O’Brien, Erin O’Brien, David Olney, Mark Olson, the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra, Carey Ott, Sam Pacetti, Paradise String Band, John Parrott, Mel Parsons, Ellis Paul, Patchouli, Pearl and the Beard, Larry Penn, Grace Pettis, Pierce Pettis, Kelly Joe Phelps, Utah Phillips, Rod Picott, Jeremy Pinc, The Pines, Piper Road, Tom Pirozolli, Cris and Ann Plata, Robin Pluer, Plume Giant, Willy Porter, Chris Porterfield, Jim Post, Sarah Potenza, Potters Field, Tom Prasado-Rao, the Kevin Prater Band, Chris Proctor, Chris Powers, Radio Wranglers, Alex Ramsey, Benson Ramsey, Bo Ramsey, Dave Ramont, Joe Rathbone, Jerry Rau, Jenn Rawling, Dave Ray, Red Tail Ring, Preston Reed, Harvey Reid, John Renbourn and Jacquie McShee, Mustard’s Retreat, Stephen Lee Rich, TR Ritchie, Kim Robertson, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Suzzy Roche, Garnet Rogers, Peter Roller, Rusty Belle, Dave Van Ronk, Sparky & Rhonda Ruckers, Gary Rue, Allison Russell, Claudia Russell, Ryanhood, Barb Ryman, Randy Sabien, Les Sampou, Maria Sangiolo, Santa Cruz River Band, Martha Scanlan, Zander Schloss, Art Paul Schlosser, Ben Schmidt, Claudia Schmidt, Danny Schmidt, Jim Schwall, Dan Sebranek, Shel, Cosy Sheridan, Richard Shindell, Susan Shore, Corky Siegel, John Sieger, Kim Simmonds, Dev Singh, SistaStrings, Small Potatoes, Dick Smith, John Smith, Michael Smith, Chris Smither, Ali Sperry, Paul Sprawl, Devon Sproule, Bill Staines, James Lee Stanley, John Stano, Garrison Starr, John Statz, Anna Stine, The Strangled Darlings, Dean Stevens, Alpha Stewart, John Stewart, David Stoddard, Heather Styka, Suitcase Junket, Kasim Sulton, Jon Svetkey, Ember Swift, Tall Heights, Eric Taylor, Louise Taylor, Awna Teixeira, Steve Tesmer, Art Thieme, Richard Paul Thomas, The Thriftones, The Tillers, Anna Tivel, Tony Trischka, Greg Trooper, Greg Valde, Anna Vogelzang, Ross Volkmann, Chris Wagoner, Tom Waselchuk, Cam Waters, Sterling Waters, TS Webb, Kai Welch, Satchel Paige Welch, Bob Westfall, Cheryl Wheeler, Andy White, Jerry Wicentowski, Jason Wilber, Brooks Williams, Dar Williams, Hayward Williams, Jack Williams, Robin & Linda Williams, Ted Williams, Beth Wood, Wrong Omar, Uprooted Theater, The Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Gabby Young, Steve Young, Natalia Zukerman, 10 String Symphony, the 442’s–  there’s more I’ve probably forgotten but I’m getting tired. And I only stretched the truth 4 times…