“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
“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. Each track 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 the Chicago Farmer accomplishes on his albums.” – Honest Tune
“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.
“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.
“This is not your average ‘man with guitar.’ Chicago Farmer’s approach to solo folk music is traditional, but his soul & energy are uncommonly powerful. 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.”- CBS Chicago