Monday, January 14, 2013

Chicago Farmer - 'Backenforth, IL' Out January 22

“Get me South, Mama get me North, Get me out of Backenforth,” Chicago Farmer sings on the title track of Backenforth, IL, out January 22, 2013. It’s the centerpiece of his sixth collection of Guthrie-inspired populist songs, as well as autobiographical. 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 mid-westerner John Prine, he’s a working-class folk musician to his core. 
 
Backenforth, IL is also about finding your place in life - that sweet spot where we all belong. “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, IL 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. He's known for walking into a gig with a guitar and a harmonica - quickly taking over the post-work drinking crowd into rowdy participation. "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.”


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