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Archive for the ‘Chicago Farmer’ Category

Putting the Poetry in Motion,
Chicago Farmer
Joins Forces with The Band of Heathens

Flyover Country  – Due Out Feb 7, 2020
Recorded at The Finishing School in Austin, Texas

First Single “Indiana Line” Out Now →  https://chicagofarmer.hearnow.com

Chicago Farmer_LP front cover_low-res

BLOOMINGTON, IL — For recording artists, albums can be like children — it’s hard to go on record choosing one as a favorite. But Cody “Chicago Farmer” Diekhoff doesn’t hesitate to designate his forthcoming release, Flyover Country, as his “golden child.”

“I think it’s my best work so far and definitely the one that I put the most into,” Diekhoff said of the 10-song album, due out Feb. 7, 2020.

Americana Highways premiered the lead single, “Indiana Line,” which is out now, saying, “With an ominous western intro, ‘Indiana Line’ builds up to a foot stompin,’  thumpin’ instant singalong. This bodes very well for Chicago Farmer’s Flyover Country. The harmonies with The Band of Heathens are irresistible, and the style is absolute contagion.” Listen HERE

Flyover Country, his sixth full-length studio album, comes on the heels of his double-disc live release, Quarter Past Tonight, and the new one signals a turning point for Diekhoff. Quarter Past Tonight was a sort of valedictory statement for Chicago Farmer as a solo tale-spinning troubadour. He felt it was time for a change.

 

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Chicago Farmer – Photo by Bradley J Scott

I knew as I was writing these songs that they called for another direction — and a band. A band that was tight, had soul, and knew how to make records,” Diekhoff said. “I’ll always be a folksinger, but you can’t just keep doing the same thing over and over. I decided it’s time to throw some fuel on this fire and get it going. For me, it’s all about the poetry and playing with a band is about putting the poetry in motion a little differently.”

 

As he was contemplating how to make his next record, he had some dates opening for The Band of Heathens. Talking backstage with Gordy Quist of the Heathens, Diekhoff discovered that the Heathens had their own studio (The Finishing School) back home in Austin, Texas, and had a strong track record of working on recording projects with other musicians, including Margo Price and Reed Foehl. On top of that, the five guys in The Band of Heathens are all versatile, world-class musicians with soul and they know how to make records.

“It seemed like it was meant to be, a calling from the Americana rock ‘n’ roll gods,” Diekhoff said.

The Heathens thought as highly of Chicago Farmer as Diekhoff thought of them. “Cody writes and sings in a truly authentic voice about the people that inhabit the spaces that America’s hopes and dreams have been built upon. Always the underdog, sometimes overlooked, but never to be forgotten,” said Ed Jurdi of the Heathens.

With Quist and Jurdi serving as co-producers with Diekhoff, the Heathens and Diekhoff hit the studio with the blueprints for the next Chicago Farmer album. While there were some overdubs, Chicago Farmer’s voice was recorded completely live with The Heathens to drive his words even deeper. 

Diekhoff said. “I’ve never been put to the test like that before. It really made me kick it up a notch.”

“Cody came in with a stellar batch of songs and really had a good vision for what he wanted the album to be,” Jurdi added.

Diekhoff’s longtime collaborator Chris Harden served as recording engineer (and mixed the album), on top of adding harmonies on two songs, and Heather Horton added harmony vocals on three tunes.

Fans of Chicago Farmer will already know at least a couple of the songs on Flyover Country if they’ve seen a show in the past couple years. In fact, Diekhoff’s talking-blues tribute to hardworking, unsung, everyday heroes, “Dirtiest Uniform,” and his country-folk singalong anthem extolling the virtues of intimate live music shows and cheap beer over corporate arena concerts, “$13 Beers,” are among the highlights on Quarter Past Tonight.

Diekhoff and the Heathens cover a lot of musical territory on Flyover Country. “Indiana Line” is a country-tinged rootsy raveup, a tale of a desperate drive down the road to redemption with great, growling slide guitar work. The title track is a languid waltz with a shuffling beat and jangly guitar, an ode to the people of the rural heartland, his people, putting Diekhoff’s high vibrato to great use. A brisker waltz beat propels “Collars,” another tribute to small-town folks, this one inspired by a young soldier who didn’t come home from Iraq.

Harmonica and baritone guitar drive “Deer in the Sky,” an uptempo folk-rock number about the benefits of flying over driving (you can drink beer on a plane and you’ll never hit a deer). Things get downright raucous on a couple songs, with Diekhoff’s grunge-rock roots coming out on “Mother Nature’s Daughter,” an environmental protest song, while the guitars go to town on “All in One Place,” a humorous look at the sad truth about making money in the music business.

Diekhoff pays tribute to Hank Williams with the album’s sole cover, Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man,” while also honoring Kenny Forbes, a friend’s father who introduced a young Diekhoff to the music of Hank Williams, setting him off on his musical quest as a folksinger. “Ramblin’ Man” starts with a stripped-down presentation but by the final verse it explodes with intensity.

The album ends with “The Village Revisited,” a sprawling, gospel-tinged song about the importance of community that recalls Creedence Clearwater Revival’s take on “Midnight Special” at times and at the end sounds like a party has broken out in the studio.

Through all the songs on Flyover Country — and most Chicago Farmer songs, for that matter —runs a common thread, a love and respect for regular folks, those who might be overlooked and underappreciated.

“A lot of my friends are just getting by day-to-day,” Diekhoff said. “We keep at it, we keep working hard. Hopefully, eventually, things will turn around.”

When Flyover Country comes out in February, Diekhoff will put his solo troubadour days behind him, at least for a while. He’ll hit the road with a band, performing as Chicago Farmer and the Fieldnotes, something he’s really looking forward to after seeing how much fun The Band of Heathens have onstage.

This is Chicago Farmer’s first studio album in four years and it will be available on CD and vinyl, as well as digital & streaming services. Pre-order Flyover Country now through Kickstarter → http://kck.st/2KbMnLX.

Chicago Farmer Flyover Country Tour Dates
All Shows Feature Chicago Farmer & The Fieldnotes:
Chicago Farmer, Jaik Willis, Cody Jensen, & Cosmic Charlie Harris 

2019
12/26 Thu – Monarch Music Hall – Peoria, IL
12/27 Fri – Rosebowl Tavern – Urbana, IL
12/28 Sat – Hey Nonny – Arlington Heights, IL

2020
2/7 Fri – The Bootleg – St. Louis, MO
2/8 Sat –  The Eagle’s Theater – Olney, IL
2/9 Sun – Stellar Cellar – Effingham, IL
2/14 Fri – Castle Theatre – Bloomington, IL
2/15 Sat – Fitzgerald’s Nightclub – Berwyn, IL
2/16 Sun- Anodyne Coffee – Milwaukee, WI
2/21 Fri – The Turf Club –  St Paul, MN
2/22 Sat – The Outer Edge – Appleton, WI
2/28 Fri – Southgate House – Newport, KY
2/29 Sat – Duke’s INDY – Indianapolis, IN
3/6 Fri – Redstone Room – Davenport, IA
3/7 Sat – Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA

Flyover Country Track Listing and Credits

1. Indiana Line 3:51
2. Flyover Country 4:59
3. Mother Nature’s Daughter 3:01
4. $13 Beers 3:17
5. Collars 5:23
6. All In One Place 2:51
7. Deer In The Sky 3:23
8. Ramblin’ Man 4:44
9. Dirtiest Uniforms 4:43
10. The Village Revisited 6:56

Chicago Farmer – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar 

The Band of Heathens:
Ed Jurdi – Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Harmonica
Gordy Quist – Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Trevor Nealon – All Things Keys
Richard Millsap – Drums, Percussion
Jesse Wilson – Bass

With Special Guests:
Heather Horton – Vocals (3, 5, 10)
Chris Harden – Vocals (8, 10)

Recorded February 2019 at The Finishing School in Austin, TX
Produced by Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist, & Chicago Farmer
Engineered & Mixed by Chris Harden

All tracks written by Cody Diekhoff with the exception of Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man” 

Further information and tour dates can be found at www.chicagofarmer.com, www.facebook.com/chicagofarmer, and twitter.com/chicagofarmer.

 

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TheseThings

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‘Tis the Season and the end of the year! Here’s a rundown of the albums that Dreamspider Publicity publicized in 2018 in order of release date. Please do keep listening to and supporting live and recorded music! THANK YOU to all the artists, writers, DJs, listeners, and concert goers!!

Cheers and have a fantastic Holiday Season!


~Erin Scholze, Dreamspider Publicity
These Things Just Don’t Happen By Themselves… 

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Love Canon – Cover Story
Released on Organic Records: July 13
www.lovecanonmusic.com

“Charlottesville, VA’s Love Canon have established themselves as prodigious interpreters of others’ songs. Their latest is chock full of circa 1980’s classics, each imbued with an acoustic charm. In some ways it speaks to the flexibility of the underlying song… In others it speaks the group’s ability to transform the song.” —Twangville, Mayer Danzig

“A guest-filled ride through familiar old favorites, interpreted not as party reboots but as thoughtful reimaginations. Songs from an era known for indulgent electric sheen get broken down and rebuilt with serious bluegrass chops… Throughout the record, the band dips into its deep rolodex of musical friends, tapping quirky troubadour Keller Williams to sing lead on R.E.M.’s ‘Driver 8,’ which features blazing solos and an extended reggae breakdown. Ace fiddler Michael Cleveland and singer Aoife O’Donovan also show up for one of the album’s best tracks, a mountain-hop version of Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland.’ Bluegrass has always been about passing songs down the line and sharing them with friends; Love Canon is toying with that tradition in a good way.” Blue Ridge Outdoors, Jedd Ferris

“Stripped of its slick ’70s country production and replaced with upbeat horns and killer harmonies, ‘Islands in the Stream’ is a perfect laid-back love ballad when performed by Love Canon. The band’s friend Lauren Balthrop evokes Parton in the high harmonies, and Bobby Read and John D’Earth provide a little bit of funk on the saxophone and trumpet, respectively.–The Boot, Amy McCarthy

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Hot Buttered Rum –
Lonesome Panoramic
Independently Released: July 20
www.hotbutteredrum.net

“Tight Tunes and Whispers of Tom Petty: Lurking behind each song is a rhythmic urgency that’s less prog-bluegrass and more rock oriented… Over its 15-plus-year career, the band has proven itself capable of pulling together strands of country, folk, bluegrass, and jam music into an energetic, good-time experience. But with the batch of well-crafted, sharply performed tunes they cooked up on Lonesome Panoramic, Hot Buttered Rum has managed to blend its ragged charms with that of a well-oiled musical machine.” —No Depression, Jim Shahen

“Ultimately, Lonesome Panoramic reflects the work of a talented group of close-knit colleagues who know how to share their skills and play in sync, with no one individual eager to overshadow the others. The band emphasize subtlety over sizzle, finesse as opposed to frenzy, and a confidence and assurance that makes melody the primary focus. It’s a decided skill set to be sure…” —Bluegrass Today, Lee Zimmerman

“Probably best described as a tangling of jam, country, folk, and bluegrass that results in a timeless energy and easily enjoyable spirit, this is a criminally underappreciated outfit and a fantastic album.” —The Daily Vault, Tom Haugen

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Chicago Farmer –
Quarter Past Tonight  – Live Double Disc Album
Independently Released: August 3
www.chicagofarmer.com

“I’d never heard of transplanted son of the soil Cody Diekhoff and you probably haven’t either. But this tenth-anniversary double-live, 24 songs and eight spoken bits that include a tribute to his heroically supportive wife entitled ‘Benefits’… he’s funny, he’s kind, and he’s preparing an instructional video about ‘how do you get that drawl that you do—it’s kind of a mix between a small-town big-city kind of a northernly southernly easterly westerly stuck-in-the-middle type of a drawl.’”  Noisey, Robert Christgau

You don’t hear many albums these days like this two-CD set, which hearkens back to a time when solo folk artists like Tom Paxton and Arlo Guthrie strode onstage offering nothing but their voices, guitars, harmonicas, visions, and wit.”  The Morton Report, Jeff Burger

“A great example of his songwriting and performing chops is ‘I Need a Hit,’ the first song off disc one. It’s about a road-worn troubadour dreaming about a John Hartford scenario — meaning he’d have a money-maker like ‘Gentle on My Mind’ funding his traveling circus.” —Wide Open Country, Bobby Moore

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Chad Elliott & The Redemptions –
Rest Heavy: The Sun Studio Sessions
Independently Released: August 10
www.chadelliott.net

“Iowa suggests such names as Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey, and Pieta Brown among others but now singer-songwriter, artist and author, Chad Elliott can join their esteemed company with Rest Heavy. Even if you didn’t know that these tracks were recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis, you’d still sense a bit of that Elvis Presley style in Elliot’s mix of roots-rock, soul, blues and modern gospel… This album just oozes soul, truth, and seems rather timeless as it could have been recorded almost any time in the last fifty-sixty years.” –Elmore, Jim Hynes

“Rest Heavy… opens with an arpeggiated piano riff and cymbal crash before launching into a leaned-back, eyes-closed, soulful-howl gospel-blues tune of which Sam Cooke would have approved… As he croon-wails his way through tracks that range from hardscrabble stories and ain’t-life-like-that tunes to songs of somber reflection, his constellation of influences is clear, with stylized moments and melodic arrangements that evoke the likes of Tom Waits, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and Doc Watson.”
Little Village Magazine, Lucas Benson

“ … there is a timeless feel all along the tracks that tell his talent.. roots rock, gospel, soul, blues in a perfect spirit… I would even say this album is the perfect tribute to the spirit of the Sun Studios. I already listened at least 10 times to it and these songs take me with them…” ISA Radio, Mike Penard, France

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Rudi Ekstein –
Carolina Chimes: Rudi Ekstein’s All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase Featuring Stuart Duncan, Jeff Autry, Mark Schatz
Independently Released on Foxfire Recording: October 5
www.carolinachimes.com

“The bulk of [the songs] are flat-out, hold-on-to-your-hat wild rides that he takes you on… The entire album brings back many great memories to me of John Hartford’s many musical excursions through the years, jam sessions with Mike Marshall down in Florida back in the ’70’s and all sorts of good stuff... I would suggest the best way to listen to this CD is on a nice drive through the country or anywhere.” Elmore, Ken Spooner

“These twelve original numbers flow brilliantly, a set of mandolin-based bluegrass the likes we haven’t experienced in a number of years. I’ve hit ‘repeat’ more than once listening to the set, the minutes passing by much too quickly…. An absolute stunner of a bluegrass album.” –-Fervor Coulee, Donald Teplyske

“This is some serious, hard core bluegrass played with a lot of fire… Good stuff.” —Mandolin Cafe

EDA Butterfly cover 2CD Cover
Edward David Anderson –
Chasing Butterflies
Independently Released on Black Dirt Records: October 18
www.edwarddavidanderson.com

“Key tracks are the disturbing epic tale of race and injustice (with majestic, swirling fiddle) in ‘The Ballad of Lemuel Penn’, the brutally honest ‘Bad Tattoos’ (‘The story of my life’s written on my skin’) and the hypnotic ‘Crosses’ with its rousing and extended instrumental section closing out the track… On Chasing Butterflies, Edward David Anderson commands our attention with his accomplished songwriting and sublime presentation. He certainly has mine. It’s a triumph.” —Listening Through The Lens, No Depression, Rob Dickens

“…nothing here is overplayed: the sound is light, mainly acoustic and upbeat… Judging by his self-penned songs, Anderson observes his world and writes what comes to mind. On his second solo release he covers family, misspent youth (tattoos), dogs, inspirational friends, bleak Montana landscapes and injustices… All in all an interesting outing that explains his wide fanbase.” –Americana Music Show, Tony Ives

“The quality of songwriting here is exemplary. Without exception we are treated to consistently strong melodies with memorable hooky choruses that will live with you after only a few listens. There is a very strong and diverse lyrical theme to these songs while the musicianship on the record is outstanding throughout.” —AmericanaUK, Mark Hegarty

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Roy Schneider & Kim Mayfield –
Reckless Saints
Independently Released on Shiny Gnu Records: Nov 2
www.RecklessSaints.com

“This husband and wife team runs the gamut from engaging acoustic folk to driving bluesy tunes, with hints of twang sprinkled in… The ringing impression from this offering is the seamless blending of so many forms of roots music, combined with meaningful and often insightful lyrics. It works beautifully.”
Making A Scene, Jim Hynes

“Reckless Saints is an acoustic duo comprised of Roy Schneider Music on guitar, harmonica, dobro, drums, banjo and bass with wife Kim Mayfield on guitar, baritone ukulele, mandolin and piano. They both sing and they both write. Their self-titled debut only has one cover: “Election Day” by the late Blaze Foley (the subject of Ethan Hawke’s new movie, Blaze.) Bonnie Raitt bassist Freebo is on hand as is the legendary Nashville harmonica player Charlie McCoy and fiddler Keven Aland. It all amounts to an Americana gem that fans of real pure mountain-stream country will love.” —The Aquarian Weekly, Mike Greenblatt

“Enlisting Blaze Foley’s old musical partner Gurf Morlix for help, Schneider and Mayfield cover Foley’s classic ‘Election Day’ with rough passion, but the beautifully rendered ‘If I Die Tomorrow’ and ‘Poison Arrow’ swoon in their arms. All who cry out for salvation from Reckless Saints might experience the same effect.”
Elmore Magazine, Peter Lindblad

TaylorMartin_SongDogs_CoverArt_2018
Taylor Martin –
Song Dogs
Released on Little King Records: Nov 16
www.taylormartin.org

“Indeed, Martin, an Asheville, NC resident, delivers a stunning work of eight original and three covers all done in a sometimes rock, sometimes blues, sometime ballad and sometimes folk style. His cover of Neil Young’s ‘Music Arcade’ is definitely a Cajun themed sound. Martin’s voice is rather gravelly sounding and is surprisingly easy to listen to for an entire CD… All in all, Song Dogs is an excellent release of music to which almost any listener can relate. Lets face it, maybe some of us can’t relate to love lost or being on the highway. But seriously, who among us can’t claim overuse of a cell phone, at least at some point in time. This is just great music. Highly recommended.” —Audiophile Voice, Paul Wilson

“The piano driven, haunting title song comes last, inspired in part by coyotes howling (per cover art) to find each other at night… It may seem that it stands apart from the others in tone and style, but several listens to Martin will have you hearing an array of styles and influences. That’s what makes it so infectious. Each song stands apart.” Country Standard Times, Jim Hynes

“The song [‘Little Pictures’] rings instantly familiar and simplifies a complex message in clear lyrical fashion, over catchy, punchy, piano-prominent rhythms.” —Americana Highways, Melissa Clarke

NEW FOR 2019!

Be on the lookout for a new book about Leftover Salmon in February entitled Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival! Written by Tim Newby

New albums in early 2019:
Amy McCarley
MECO  – (Feb 8, 2019)

Reed Foehl
Lucky Enough – (Feb 1, 2019)

 

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CF_LiveAlbumCover_2018_CreditKeithBersonPhotography

Chicago Farmer Releases a Live Double Disc Album, Quarter Past Tonight, on Aug. 3
Recorded at the Apollo Theater in Peoria, IL During Two Nights of Sold Out Shows

Available now on Chicago Farmer’s online store, Amazon, iTunes & cdbaby

BLOOMINGTON, IL — Based in Bloomington, IL, Chicago Farmer (A.K.A. Cody Diekhoff) independently releases his first live Chicago Farmer album, Quarter Past Tonight, a two-disc set on Aug. 3. With long time studio engineer Chris Harden (I.V. Labs Studio/Chicago) in tow and armed with just his guitar, harmonica and distilled words and stories of heartache, social injustice, hometown pride, love and loss, Chicago Farmer played two sold out nights at the Apollo Theater in Peoria, IL in December of 2017 and captured it all as it went down.

Quarter Past Tonight offers a greatest-hits retrospective of his work with 32 tracks of stories and songs, including “Watch Doctor,” “Round Table,” and “Postcards” from his debut album, “Illinois Anthem” and “Assembly Line Blues” off of From a Small Town in Illinois [2006], “Weatherman” from Talk of Town [2007], “Workin’ On It” and “Backseat” from Backenforth, IL [2013], and “Rocco N’ Susie” and “Umbrella” from Midwest Side Stories [2016].  The album also features three new original Chicago Farmer songs — “Dirtiest Uniforms,” “$13 Beers,” and “I Need A Hit “— as well as a cover of Backyard Tire Fire’s “Good to Be.”

What folks are saying:

“Chicago Farmer has the novelist’s gift of building a suspenseful story to a surprising conclusion. He’s clever, insightful, and witty with his between songs banter, making the stories often every bit as good and memorable as his songs… His trademark appeal is his ability to sing about the regular person, the working person, in a relatable way.’Country Standard Time, Jim Hynes

“I’d never heard of transplanted son of the soil Cody Diekhoff and you probably haven’t either. But this tenth-anniversary double-live, 24 songs and eight spoken bits that include a tribute to his heroically supportive wife entitled ‘Benefits’… he’s funny, he’s kind, and he’s preparing an instructional video about ‘how do you get that drawl that you do—it’s kind of a mix between a small-town big-city kind of a northernly southernly easterly westerly stuck-in-the-middle type of a drawl.’” Noisey, Robert Christgau

You don’t hear many albums these days like this two-CD set, which hearkens back to a time when solo folk artists like Tom Paxton and Arlo Guthrie strode onstage offering nothing but their voices, guitars, harmonicas, visions, and wit.” The Morton Report, Jeff Burger

“The troubadour is standup – a storyteller like the best standup comics and an upright fellow standing up for regular folks and the lives of quiet desperation and outright glee we all experience to the soundtracks in our heads and hearts…. He’s comparable to John Prine, Loudon Wainwright and Neil Young, and also occasionally like the late Steve Goodman, Art Thieme and Woody Guthrie, with a soulful sense of humor and keen insight to the human condition and all its passion, silliness and dreams.”
The Community Word, Bill Knight

“A riveting live performer who has cultivated a loyal following with folk songs and stories about the American heartland” —WGLT, Jon Norton

“As hard-working musicians go, few can hold a candle to the Midwest’s own folk hero, Chicago Farmer. Back and forth across the great wide open, the authenticity of his music just resonates with something in the human spirit, with material ranging from raucous and boot-stompin’ runaway hootenannies, to subdued and heartfelt odes to love and loss.” News-Gazette, Andrew Howie

“Like the stage name that Cody Diekhoff adopted for himself, Chicago Farmer’s music has an urban big-city sensibility with rural small-town roots, similar to the genre of Americana music itself, which is a combination of different American music idioms.”  South Bend Tribune, Andrew S. Hughes

Americana Highways Song Premiere: “Dirtiest Uniforms”

Tomorrow’s Verse Song Premiere: “I Need A Hit”

Quarter Past Tonight Track Listing:

Disc One

  1. Dirtiest Uniforms   (4:52) [Previously Unreleased]
  2. Round Table   (4:38)
  3. Pulled Over On 29   (1:29)*
  4. Anymore   (2:54)
  5. Benefits   (1:23)*
  6. Backseat   (7:57)
  7. Assembly Line Blues   (3:23)
  8. $13 Dollar Beers   (3:03) [Previously Unreleased]
  9. Six Records   (1:00)*
  10. Who On Earth   (4:42)
  11. Fall   (4:05)
  12. Illinois Anthem   (4:03)
  13. Jon Stokes Prison Break Blues   (3:34)
  14. People N’ Places   (10:56)
  15. Good To Be   (3:27) [by Edward David Anderson & Backyard Tire Fire]

Disc Two

  1. I Need A Hit   (5:07) [Previously Unreleased]
  2. Umbrella   (4:55)
  3. We’re All Billy   (:48)*
  4. Quarter Life Crisis   (2:17)*
  5. Watch Doctor   (5:58)
  6. Weatherman   (3:04)
  7. Nostalgia & Folklore   (2:02)*
  8. Postcards   (2:41)
  9. Hats   (3:49)
  10. Workin’ On It   (7:38)
  11. Breaking Bad   (1:57)*
  12. Rocco N’ Susie   (5:55)
  13. Thank You’s   (:45)*
  14. Victoria Walker   (5:13)
  15. Farms & Factories   (4:22)
  16. Won’t Let You Down   (5:04
  17. For Dad (Pool Song)   (8:04)

All tracks FCC clean
*Banter/Story

Further information can be found at www.chicagofarmer.com, www.facebook.com/chicagofarmer, and twitter.com/chicagofarmer.###

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CF_LiveAlbumCover_2018_CreditKeithBersonPhotography

‘Quarter Past Tonight’ Live Album Art by Keith Berson Photography

Chicago Farmer Releases a Live Double Disc Album on Aug. 3
Quarter Past Tonight
Recorded at the Apollo Theater in Peoria, IL
During Two Nights of Sold Out Shows


Chicago Farmer has a truly eclectic style that echoes Arlo Guthrie’s with a contemporary twist, and his storytelling is presented in clear syncopated cadence.Americana Highways: Song Premiere of “Dirtiest Uniforms”


BLOOMINGTON, IL — Some live albums are so good they become the recordings those artists are known for. Frampton Comes Alive and Cheap Trick at Budokan were monster hits and catapulted them to rock superstar status. Cody Diekhoff, too, has big hopes for his first live Chicago Farmer first live album, Quarter Past Tonight, a two-disc set to be independently released Aug. 3. “Folk superstar would be just fine,” Diekhoff says.

A touring musician for 20 years with a quarter century of writing songs under his belt, Diekhoff has seen the type size for his moniker grow steadily larger on festival posters over the years. He called his 21-song 2005 debut album About Time, and the same title would have fit for the new live album, recorded Dec. 1-2, two sold-out nights at the Apollo Theater in Peoria, IL in 2017. This is a solo record with Cody being the only performer, singing and playing guitar as well as harmonica as Chicago Farmer. Fans have requested a live album for years with a love for his stories and banter as much as his songs.

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Chicago Farmer. Photo by Troy Phillips

“People for the longest time have been coming up to me at the merch table — ‘What do you have that’s just like what you just did on stage,’” Diekhoff says. “So after a long time of putting it off, I finally did it.”

Quarter Past Tonight is a celebration of a musical career in which he’s recorded five studio albums of Chicago Farmer music, criss-crossed the country playing thousands of shows, and shared stages with Robert Earl Keen, Todd Snider, Greg Brown, Greensky Bluegrass, The Wood Brothers, Elizabeth Cook, Wayne Hancock, Del McCoury, and Gene Ween — the last two on the same weekend. It also marks a milestone in his life, coming out just before his 40th birthday. “This is kind of my big tribute to me for sticking around this long,” he says.

Growing up in the tiny Illinois town of Delavan (born the same year Cheap Trick at Budokan was recorded), Diekhoff got the writing bug in high school, translating daydreams into stories. He thought of becoming an English teacher… but then he got a guitar. A friend’s father with a guitar introduced him to the timeless artistry of Hank Williams, and when he moved to Chicago after high school he went to the famed Old Town School of Folk Music to hone his harmonica skills and took a deep dive into work of John Prine and Steve Goodman, giants of the Chicago folk scene. Neil Young, John Fogerty, and Arlo Guthrie were among the other role models Diekhoff turned to as he launched his career.

The storytelling he does came early on, from having to fill a four-hour gig without repeating his songs, so he began crafting elaborate introductions to his songs. “In some cases, I guess the story of the song became more entertaining than some of the songs themselves, so people started reciting and requesting those as well,” he says.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Chris Harden of The I.V. Labs Studios in Chicago, Quarter Past Tonight offers a greatest-hits retrospective of his work with 32 tracks of stories and songs, including “Watch Doctor,” “Round Table,” and “Postcards” from his debut album, “Illinois Anthem” and “Assembly Line Blues” off of From a Small Town in Illinois [2006], “Weatherman” from Talk of Town [2007], “Workin’ On It” and “Backseat” from Backenforth, IL [2013], and “Rocco N’ Susie” and “Umbrella” from Midwest Side Stories [2016]. The album also features three new original Chicago Farmer songs — “Dirtiest Uniforms,” “$13 Beers,” and “I Need A Hit “— as well as a cover of Backyard Tire Fire’s “Good to Be.”

Quarter Past Tonight is about as authentic as they come. The first disc is the first night’s show, as presented, and disc two documents the second night just as it happened. What’s on those discs is about 98 percent of what he gave the audiences those nights. “We tried to keep it as real as we could,” he says, and that’s his approach to songwriting, too. “Now that I’m older, there’s way more honesty and realness that goes into my songs. Life has happened to me in the last decade, good and bad, and that’s what these songs are about.”

Todd Snider has called Chicago Farmer “the genuine heir to Arlo Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot,” and he’s one of Pokey La Farge’s favorite singers. Accolades like that and the chance to record a double live album have Diekhoff feeling fortunate. He’s grateful for what he’s been able to do, for being able to make his daydreams come true, and yet he wants more, has unfulfilled ambitions and feels no relief from “the creativity bug.”

“My heroes all have their own chapter in the Great American Folk Book. Right now, I have a run-on sentence,” he says. “With this live album, I hope it will turn into a paragraph, and maybe a page, and who knows, maybe a chapter of my own. I’m a quarter century into it and feel my best adventures and songs are yet to come.”

Chicago Farmer 2018 Tour Dates
7/12 Thu – The Village Idiot – Maumee, OH
7/14 Sat – Acorn Theater – Three Oaks, MI
7/26 Thu – The Southgate House Revival Sanctuary – Newport, KY
7/27 Fri – Zanzabar – Louisville, KY
7/28 Sat – The Bootleg at Atomic Cowboy  St. Louis, MO
8/2 Thu – SPACE (40th B-day Celebration) – Evanston, IL
8/3-4 Fri-Sat – Castle Theatre (40th B-day Celebration) – Bloomington, IL
8/9 Thu –  Codfish Hollow Barnstormers – Maquoketa, IA
8/10 Fri – The Washington – Burlington, IA
8/11 Sat – People Fest – Hillsboro, WI
8/15 Wed – Harmony By The Bay – Sturgeon Bay, WI
8/16 Thu – 3 Sheeps Brewing Sheboygan, WI
8/17 Fri – Minocqua Brewing Co. – Minocqua, WI
8/18 Sat – Short Branch Saloon – Neenah, WI
8/22 Wed – Hi-Fi – Indianapolis, IN
8/23 Thu – Whispering Beard Folk Fest – Friendship, IN
8/31 Fri – Brewgrass Festival at Edgewater – Madison, WI
9/1 Sat – Shoe Fest – Manteno, IL
9/6 Thu – Woodlands Tavern – Columbus, OH
9/13 Thu – Raccoon Motel – Davenport, IA
9/14 Fri – Cavalier Theater – La Crosse, WI
9/15-16 Sat-Sun – Prairie Burn Music Festival – Hudson, WI
10/12-13 Fri-Sat –  Wander Down Music Festival – Makanda, IL

Quarter Past Tonight Track Listing:

Disc One

  1. Dirtiest Uniforms   (4:52) [Previously Unreleased]
  2. Round Table   (4:38)
  3. Pulled Over On 29   (1:29)*
  4. Anymore   (2:54)
  5. Benefits   (1:23)*
  6. Backseat   (7:57)
  7. Assembly Line Blues   (3:23)
  8. $13 Dollar Beers   (3:03) [Previously Unreleased]
  9. Six Records   (1:00)*
  10. Who On Earth   (4:42)
  11. Fall   (4:05)
  12. Illinois Anthem   (4:03)
  13. Jon Stokes Prison Break Blues   (3:34)
  14. People N’ Places   (10:56)
  15. Good To Be   (3:27) [by Edward David Anderson & Backyard Tire Fire]

    Disc Two
  16. I Need A Hit   (5:07) [Previously Unreleased]
  17. Umbrella   (4:55)
  18. We’re All Billy   (:48)*
  19. Quarter Life Crisis   (2:17)*
  20. Watch Doctor   (5:58)
  21. Weatherman   (3:04)
  22. Nostalgia & Folklore   (2:02)*
  23. Postcards   (2:41)
  24. Hats   (3:49)
  25. Workin’ On It   (7:38)
  26. Breaking Bad   (1:57)*
  27. Rocco N’ Susie   (5:55)
  28. Thank You’s   (:45)*
  29. Victoria Walker   (5:13)
  30. Farms & Factories   (4:22)
  31. Won’t Let You Down   (5:04)
  32. For Dad (Pool Song)   (8:04)

    All tracks FCC clean
    *Banter/Story

    Further information can be found at www.chicagofarmer.com, www.facebook.com/chicagofarmer, and twitter.com/chicagofarmer.

 

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Singer/Songwriter, Chicago Farmer Releases Midwest Side Stories Out TODAY 9.30
Get it now at iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby

Head on over to Live For Live Music (L4LM) for the world premier of “9pm to 5”
“…Cody is fully present, as the subtle and not so subtle jokes and metaphors he employs to such ingratiating effect are fully evident”
Listen in here→ http://bit.ly/ChicagoFarmer_9pmto5_L4LM_Premier

BLOOMINGTON, IL — Chicago Farmer, the moniker Bloomington, Illinois’ Cody Diekhoff performs and writes under, independently released his 7th album, Midwest Side Stories, September 30, 2016. Midwest Side Stories is about hope, depression, job loss, meth, skateboards, a divided nation, used cars, the late shift, farms, factories, the destruction of our environment, and still being around to sing about it. The new release contains ten tracks all of which were written by Diekhoff (pronounced dee-cough), with the exception of the John Hartford classic “I’m Still Here.”

Folk hero Todd Snider says, “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.”

Diekhoff co-produced Midwest Side Stories, with engineer Chris Harden at I.V. Labs Studios in Chicago, Illinois. Harden also played Glockenspiel and harmonized vocals on select tracks. Others on the album include vocalist and guitarist Ernie Hendrickson, drummer Darren Garvey, vocalist Heather Horton, and a handful of other Midwestern mainstays.

What folks are saying about Chicago Farmer’s Midwest Side Stories:

“At heart, Diekhoff is a protest singer, who in this election year paints a rather dark picture of the country. Unfortunately, many of the subjects he sings about ring true, but Diekhoff is smart enough to offer hope and some solutions too. Besides the hope, we find tales of depression, job loss, meth, skateboards. A divided nation, used cars, the late shift, farms, factories, the destruction of our environment and the gift of still being here with a chance to effect change.” —Elmore Magazine, Jim Hynes

“Previously, frequent comparisons to the works of famed folk troubadour Arlo Guthrie have been spot on. With this impressive step forward in song craft and dimension, Chicago Farmer has moved beyond any previous limitations and associations. Storyteller, humorist and heartfelt proponent of the core values of humanity itself, Chicago Farmer has always had a message of compassion that the world truly needs to hear. Thanks to the added power backing his insight and infectious spirit he is ready to take his message farther than ever before, as he does to wonderful effect on Midwest Side Stories.” —Live For Live Music (L4LM), Rex Thomson

“[Chicago Farmer] has a style that reminds me of the country/folk pop singers of the early 70s—the R. Dean Taylors, John Denvers, and Ray Matericks of the day. Earnest. Bold. Honest.” —Fervor Coulee, Donald Teplyske

Midwest Side Stories begins with the Neil Young-like ‘Umbrella.’ With a strumming guitar and lyrics such as, ‘I want to sing you a sad, sad song that I hope will make you smile,’ the resemblance between Diekhoff and Young is unmistakable — and undeniable. But, he is no mere imitator. He springboards from that auspicious beginning to songs generally about the current state of the formerly industrious Midwest, offset with its many rural areas, and their many problems: job loss, meth, farms, shift-work factories, social divisions, etc.” —No Depression, Amos Perrine

“And that is where Diekhoff shines, as a phenomenal storyteller in the vein of Prine, Earle, and his somewhat mentor, Todd Snider (who provided a glowing recommendation in the liner notes of the record).

Midwest Side Stories is strong from start to finish.” —No Depression, The Broken Jukebox, Adam Dawson

“Midwest Side Stories is full of great lyrics and wonderful music. It doesn’t matter if you live in the American Midwest or somewhere else. These songs will speak to you in a language the is easy to understand. If you are a regular person who works for a living, you will find yourself absorbed into the stories. In other words, if you are an earthling you will get great enjoyment by listening to Midwest Side Stories by Chicago Farmer.” –Independent Midwest Music

“Chicago Farmer’s songs have always been thoughtful, and there is definitely a somber tone at the start of opening track ‘Umbrella’. However, it does quickly establish the singalong vibe that has more and more people heading to Chicago Farmer shows. The hard-rocking ‘Revolving Door’, with its Decemberists-esque harmonica intro, really pulls you in and demands your attention, with a backing band of music scene friends contributing to the down-by-the-water feel before heading into an outro that just gets stuck in your head for days.” —News Gazette, Andrew Howie

“Songs like ‘Revolving Door’, ‘9pm to 5’, ‘Farms & Factories’, and ‘Rocco and Susie’ all paint the picture of life in a Central Illinois town from the perspective of the 3rd shift clock puncher, families getting squeezed, or the couple losing their dream and their sanity along the way. Warts and all.” —Tomorrow’s Verse, Kevin Foss

“He calls each song, each ‘Midwest Side story,’ a chapter in the album’s book of life as he sees it. The tone can waver from the plaints of ‘Revolving Door,’ about the loss of manufacturing jobs hereabouts, to the darkness of ‘Rocco N’ Susie,’ which grapples with meth addiction.” —Pantagraph, Dan Craft

“Chicago Farmer, aka Cody Diekhoff, is neither a farmer nor – any longer – a Chicagoan, but his family history in rural farming communities runs through all his work. Fellow folk journeyman Todd Snider calls him ‘the genuine heir to Arlo Guthrie or Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’ and he’s the perfect person to honor his fellow Midwesterner John Hartford.” Stream Chicago Farmer’s version of John Hartford’s “I’m Still Here at  Cover Me Songs www.covermesongs.com/2016/09/chicago-farmer-covers-john-hartford.html

Further information can be found at www.chicagofarmer.com, www.facebook.com/chicagofarmer, and twitter.com/chicagofarmer.

Chicago Farmer Midwest Side Stories Tour Dates

Full Band
9/30 Fri – Redstone Room – Davenport, IA
10/1 Sat – Castle Theatre – Bloomington, IL
10/2 Sun – The Bootleg – St. Louis, MO

Solo Shows
10/5 Wed – Woodlands Tavern – Columbus, OH
10/6 Thu – Steiner’s Tavern – Chillicothe, OH
10/7 Fri – Southgate House Revival – Newport, KY
10/8 Sat – Radio Radio – Indianapolis, IN
10/11 People’s Brewing CO. – LaFayette, IN
10/13 Thu – Knuckleheads Retro Lounge – Kansas City, MO
10/14 Fri – Blue October – Hannibal, MO
10/15 Sat – Bar None – Springfield, IL
10/20 Thu – The Walnut Room – Denver, Co
10/21 Fri – Lazy Dog Saloon – Boulder, CO
11/3 Thu –  Five Spot – Nashville, TN
11/4 Fri – Paducah Beer Werks – Paducah, KY
11/5 Sat – Hangar 9 – Carbondale, IL
11/9 Wed – The Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN
11/10 Thu – The Root Note – LaCrosse, WI
11/11 Fri – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL

Midwest Side Stories Track Listing
1. Umbrella 4:32
2. Revolving Door 5:09
3. Rocco N’ Susie 6:00
4. Skateboard Song 3:03
5. Two Sides of the Story 5:19
6. New Used Car 4:05
7. 9pm to 5 3:33
8. Farms & Factories 4:07
9. Homework 4:01
10. I’m Still Here 5:57

*All songs by Chicago Farmer except #10 “I’m Still Here” by John Hartford

Album Cover by Jay Miller at Reverb Soul
Album design layout by Jon Griffin

Further information can be found at www.chicagofarmer.com, www.facebook.com/chicagofarmer, and twitter.com/chicagofarmer.

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Chicago Farmer Announces 2014 Winter Tour

Chicago Farmer: Foot Stomping, Folk Singing, Story Telling, Spoken Word Poetry Spouting, Guitar Picking, Sing A Longing, Joke Telling, Fighting The Good Fight Songs!

Do you have a voice but are afraid to use it? Do you have feelings you don’t know how to express? Is there a side of you that wants to be freed from under the rock, the closet, the suffocating small town or big city cubicle you’ve been living in? Chicago Farmer is ready to help and will be on tour in your area in 2014!

The son of a small town farming community, Cody Diekhoff, logged plenty of highway and stage time before drifting into the Windy City and becoming known as Chicago Farmer. Profoundly inspired by Woody Guthrie and John Prine, he’s a working-class folk musician to his core. His small town roots, tilled with city streets mentality, are now turning heads North and South of I-80.

“This is not your average ‘man with guitar.’ Chicago Farmer’s approach to solo folk music is traditional, but his soul and energy are uncommonly powerful,” says CBS Chicago. “Arriving with his classic acoustic guitar style is a voice smooth but broken-in that sounds wise beyond its years. He will stomp out a beat in leather boots to drive home a point and throw down a handsome harmonica solo to put a song over the top. The songs are about the places he’s been and the people he’s met, so local ideas are abound in this music from the heart.”

“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.” Honest Tune goes on to write, “Each song 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 in his music.”

“Chicago Farmer represents the best qualities of Midwestern U.S.A,” praises Pokey Lafarge. “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.”

In 2013 Chicago Farmer released the full-length album Backenforth, IL. The album broke the top 40 on the Americana Music Charts and rose to #3 on the Radio Free Americana charts. Along with Americana Radio, the album also garnered much attention with the song “Workin’ On It” being featured on Chicago’s WXRT multiple times. On April 17th, Michael Verity of No Depression (The Roots Music Authority) pegged Backenforth, IL as #5 of the best of the year so far, and Henry Carrigan of Country Standard Time says of the album “Stark and joyous at the same time, the songs grab you by the throat and refuse to let go until they’ve penetrated your heart and soul, which, after all, is what great folk music has always done; Chicago Farmer’s new album stands well in that tradition.”

Chicago Farmer plans to carry the tradition and torch of folk music even further with his live performances in 2014. This year Deikhoff goes on to headline many of the markets and cities he’s been the support in; 2013 saw the Folk-Singer priming the stage for the likes of Todd Snider, Pokey LaFarge, and Jeff Austin’s side project The Here and Now featuring Austin, Danny Barnes, and Larry & Jenny Keel. Whether the audience has already witnessed one of his performances or not, they’re sure to be singing along, clapping hands, stomping their feet, laughing, crying, and wishing for more.

Chicago Farmer 2014 Tour Dates
Jan 11  Springfield, IL – Donnie’s Homespun
Jan 29  Madison, WI – Hotel Red
Jan 30  Two Rivers, WI – Waverly Inn
Jan 31  Minocqua, WI – Minocqua Brewing CO.
Feb 01  Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
Feb 07  Nashville, IN – The Cabin Fever Concert
Feb 08  Newport, KY – Southgate House Revival
Feb 13  St. Louis, MO – The Gramophone
Feb 14  Bloomington, IL – The Castle Theatre
Feb 15  McHenry, IL – Winter Roots at Mackey’s Hideout
Feb 20  Chicago, IL – Dunn Dunn Fest at Tonic Room
Feb 21  Davenport, IA – The Redstone Room
Feb 22  Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
Feb 28  Denver, CO – Cervantes’ Other Side

For more information, please visit: www.chicagofarmer.com

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