Says Todd Snider about Chicago Farmer: "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." Chicago Farmer is Cody Diekhoff, who came from the Illinois farming community of Delavan.
Many of his songs are in the Woody Guthrie vein, populist as well as autobiographical. Cody logged plenty of highway and stage time under the name Chicago Farmer (originally the name of a group) before settling in the city in 2003. He listened to punk rock and grunge as a kid before discovering a friend's dad playing Hank Williams, and it was a revelation.
Profoundly inspired as well by fellow Mwesterner John Prine, he's a working-class folk musician to his core. Cody 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.