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Chicago Farmer & The Field Notes with special guests River Valley Rangers
March 3, 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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. His small-town roots, tilled with city streets mentality, are turning heads North and South of I-80.
“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.
“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 Chicago Farmer accomplishes on his albums.”
— HONEST TUNE
Rolling plains, crackling campfires, and late night string sessions are just some of the scenes that float into one’s mind when absorbing one of Midwestern quartet River Valley Rangers’ forthright compositions. Throughout their 5 year tenure, the group has remained a steadfast contributor to the “newgrass” genre through their inventive, free-flowing flatpicking styles and arrangements, all the while paying omnipresent homage to the pioneers of the conventional bluegrass style. While the traditional instrumentation of their songs resounds with familiarity, the techniques they employ––rhythmic changes, melodic sequences, breakdowns, improvised jamming––yield an ever-evolving sonic landscape, rippled with nods to more orthodox offerings from within the realm.
The Rangers, comprised of Mark Messer (mandolin, vocals), Jesse Beilfuss (upright bass, vocals), Daniel Watkins (guitar, vocals), and Ben Zorn (fiddle, vocals), followed unique paths into the world of music-making, yet each exhibit an aptitude for harmonizing, songwriting, and audience interplay. They also share a willingness to experiment: one may find an array of heterogeneous tunes in any given live set, be it a jaunty number about the simplicities of rural living, an old-time standard, or a crowd-stirring alt rock cover––the band leans into musical diversity. This characteristic is the hallmark of a repertoire that runs deep and varied, much like the colorful river beds that etch themselves into the prairies of the group’s Illinois home.
Listing influences spanning Tony Rice to Phish, thoughtful notations rip through Rangers jams, creating a dynamic sound tunnel which eagerly sweeps listeners into an experience that is both entertaining and confounding, underpinned by lightning-fast, ever-tight string maneuvering. As the River Valley Rangers continue to traverse the U.S. throughout Summer 2021, their uplifting tunes in tow, they will channel the experiences that the road’s boundless nature bestows upon them into their forthcoming EP, due out later this year. Boasting appearances with artists such as Jeremy Garrett of the Grammy award-winning The Infamous Stringdusters, Grammy award-winning The Travelin’ McCourys, and Grammy-nominated and IBMA winners Special Consensus, they continue to draw upon their peers, and the pickin’ parties they treasure hosting together, for the constant evolution and honing of their craft.
Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
Opening Act: River Valley Rangers
Age Restriction: 19+ (minors must be accompanied by parent or guardian)
Web: https://chicagofarmer.com | www.rivervalleyrangers.com
All tickets are general admission. Purchasing a ticket does not guarantee a seat.
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The Redstone Room at River Music Experience is a standing room only concert venue. All tickets are General Admission unless otherwise stated. For the comfort of our guests, a limited amount of seating is available on a first come first serve basis.
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