Chicago Farmer comes from a small town in Illinois and brings his folk songs via the interstate and state roads that he drives on to each and every show. These roads he travels have become a main source of inspiration and have taken him back to a young age, where at 17 Cody Diekhoff, better known as Chicago Farmer, got a guitar that his dad bought for him his first “real guitar” and gave his poetry a voice. I’m reminded of something a folk singer from Chicago once said “there’s great poetry in this stuff,” that guy was Fred Holstein, and, this guy Chicago Farmer definitely has a way with words.
Whether it is storytelling, spoken word, or just a good old sing-a-long Chicago Farmer brings his poetry from being an “outlet of emotion and creativity” too putting it in song. There is no shortage of tunes to choose from either. Over the course of about seven or eight years Cody has put out numerous recordings some six tracks long some fifteen tracks long. All encompassing where he has come from, the small town or the big city, and “with great big stars in my eyes” from a song called Gunshots on Tuesday he embodies the traveling folk singer. This song that I just mentioned also gives a good look into where he has come from and where he went and to a certain extent where he is now. Although a few years older now than when the song was written and recorded, but the feeling can still be the same.
From a recent conversation I had with Cody I asked him what the songwriting process was like for him and he said “It definitely varies, sometimes they come raging through my head like a flood. Sometimes there’s definitely a drought. When that happens (the drought), I usually put the notebook away and just go for a long walk or drive and live life for a few days. When I get back, I usually have a lot of material. Sometimes the words come first, sometimes the melody and music. The other day I wrote a song in five minutes, and now I’m trying to finish a song I started a few years ago.” Through this writing process you can hear the wheels on pavement or boots on the ground. Cody brings you along for the ride that he has been on since he was seventeen, and again there is no shortage of tunes choose from.
Being a one man show makes for a great experience at a live show, and as the attendee you brought into the world of this singer songwriter from a small town in Southern Illinois. As one man show he feels it’s important for him to be unique and stand out from the other “guys with guitars.” He certainly does with his own material, a harmonica, a stomping foot, storytelling, spoken word, and sing-a-longs. You won’t see any “smoke or mirrors, props or effects” at a Chicago Farmer show, although from that recent conversation I had with him he did say “I do occasionally enjoy a good fog machine at my one man folks shows.”
For Cody (Chicago Farmer) the support of family has made the road easier to travel. From graduating high school and his mom and grandpa turning an old room in their basement into a music room , too his dad buying that first “real guitar,” but most importantly the support of his wife as well. “She travels to almost every show, makes the wheels go round, and encourages my dreams,” a quote from our recent conversation. If not for this support system Cody would probably still be in southern Illinois “breaking things with nothing better to do,” he told me.
This mid west troubadour will be playing all over you can check him out at chicagofarmer.com, facebook, or pick up his new album “Backenforth, Il” on iTunes. Cincinnati we are graced with him coming to our small town and playing The Southgate House Revival this Friday the 8th along with Whiskey Bent Valley Boys and Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Hustle. With Chicago Farmer’s “one man show” he will bring you on the road with him if just for an hour or so. Through the foot stomping and sing-a-longs songs from a time once forgotten but still alive and going strong.