The son of a small-town farming community, Cody Diekhoff logged plenty of highway and stage time under the name Chicago Farmer before settling in the city in 2003. Profoundly inspired by fellow Midwesterner John Prine, he’s a working-class folk musician to his core. His small-town roots, tilled with city streets mentality, are turning heads North and South of I-80.
“I love the energy, music, and creativity of Chicago, but at the same time, the roots and hard work of my small town,” he shares. Growing up in Delavan, Illinois, with a population less than 2,000, Diekhoff’s grandparents were farmers, and their values have always provided the baseline of his songs.
He writes music for “the kind of people that come to my shows. Whether in Chicago or Delavan, everyone has a story, and everyone puts in a long day and works hard the same way,” he says. “My generation may have been labeled as slackers, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t work hard – many people I know put in 50-60 hours a week and 12-hour days. That’s what keeps me playing. I don’t like anyone to be left out; my music is for everyone in big and very small towns.”
He listened to punk rock and grunge as a kid before discovering a friend’s dad playing Hank Williams, and it was a revelation. Prine and Guthrie quickly followed. The name Chicago Farmer was originally for a band, but the utilitarian life of driving alone from bar to bar, city to city – to make a direct connection to his audience and listener, took a deeper hold.
“You can smell the dirt in the fields, hear the wind as it blows across the plains, and see the people that Chicago Farmer sings about. Each track captures a moment in time, whether for a person or a particular place. Imagine if a John Steinbeck short story had been written as a song, and this will give you a fairly good idea as to what Chicago Farmer accomplishes on his albums.”
— HONEST TUNE
Cody Jensen and Charlie Harris, both of Bones Jugs N Harmony along with Jaik Willis (One Man Band and ‘fire breathing freak show’) make up the Field Notes.
Suggested contribution $10 or more. Please bring cash money to keep the live music flowing.
We will be featuring a few handcrafted Fieldnotes cocktails for this special evening with the help of our friends at La Crosse Distilling.
More details to follow.
“Chicago Farmer has one of the most haunting voices of our generation. And with that indelible voice he paints musical still-lifes of modern America that alternately frighten and inspire.”
“Chicago Farmer ripped through one wailing, emotive Dylanesque tune after another, rousing his audience with his country-boy aesthetic mixed with city-streets mentality. This man-of-pain, salt-of-the-earth, shut-up-and-listen-to-the-beauty artistic theme was painted all over him, with a glaze of comic wit that rose his lyrics and passionate playing that much higher.”
-Homegrown Music Network
“I love Chicago Farmer’s singing and playing and songs, but it’s the intention behind the whole of his work that moves me to consider him the genuine heir to Arlo Guthrie or Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. He knows the shell game that goes on under folk music… which is sacred to me. Chicago Farmer is my brother; if you like me, you’ll love him.”
– Todd Snider