Chicago Farmer, the moniker Bloomington, Illinois’ Cody Diekhoff performs and writes under will perform at the Steele County History Center on October 28. His latest CD, 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.”
Cody has his finger on the pulse of middle America. Coming from a long line of family farmers and factory workers in central Illinois and growing up in a rural farming community has inspired many songs that are autobiographical in nature. Farms & Factories” is a workgrass song featuring fiddle, tempo changes, and the farming side of Chicago Farmer. In 2002 he moved up north to the big city where he came up with the name Chicago Farmer for what was initially intended to be a band, but ended up keeping the name for himself and started writing and recording albums. Eventually he moved back in 2008 to central Illinois where he makes his home in Bloomington. The Midwest is where he was born and raised. It’s where he first started to write poetry and where he would eventually set those words into motion with his guitar.
With Midwest Side Stories Chicago Farmer builds an adventurous narrative that brings issues to the front burner with folk/protest songs. “Two Sides of the Story” is an acoustically portrayed glimpse of the evolving division in the United States. It takes aim at the media, politics, and religion’s role in that division. “There’s two sides to every story, there’s two sides to every town, the side of town that tells the story. The side where the story went down.”
Brandon Sampson and John Wheeler of Six Mile Grove will open the evening on Saturday, October 28 at 7:30 PM, doors open at 6:30 PM, at the Steele County Historical Society.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has called it one of the "10 best Local albums of 2007 so far." Chris Riemenschnieder writes, "In a perfect world, the soccer, er, football ditty "The National Side" would score on local FM stations."Tickets are available at the Steele County History Center or can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com. Steele County History Center. Available in advance or at the door, SCHS Member = $15 per person, Non-member = $20 per person. A cash bar with wine, beer and soda is available.
The Steele County Historical Society, located at 1700 Austin Road, Owatonna, is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am until 4 pm, Thursdays from 10 am until 8 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am until 3 pm. For more information, please call our office at 507-451-1420.
This event is sponsored by Remax Venture, Mohs Contracting, TPS Insurance Agency and the Nelson Family.