“Chicago Farmer represents the best qualities of Midwestern U.S.A. His lyrics, his stories and his heart are true. He’ll give you that feeling of ‘going home’. He’ll make you want to say all those things you’ve been meaning to say but were too afraid. At the same time his songs can make you ask yourself some deep questions. His songs give you hope. If you didn’t know him I believe just his voice would make you believe every word he says. Definitely one of my favorite singers out there today.” – Pokey LaFarge
“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
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.
All ticket prices include a $1 historical preservation fee.
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