A Night of Full-Band Show Sets
Chicago Farmer's 40th Folkin' Birthday & Live Album Release - Night Two
Old Shoe, The Way Down Wanderers, Edward David Anderson's Black Dirt Revival
209 E. Washington St.
Bloomington, IL, 61701
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 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.
Old Shoe is a five-piece Roots Rock n' Roll band based out of Chicago, Illinois. Made up of talented songwriters from across the country, hailing from as far away as Alaska, the band's compositions paint a diverse landscape of American life.
The band's new album Family is not merely another notch in the belt for Old Shoe, but is more so a poignant culmination of their growth and progress since the last release in 2011. WXRT 93.1FM Chicago radio host, Richard Milne, calls it "...a big time album." In just a little over two years, Old Shoe solidified their strong lineup with keyboardist/mandolinist/vocalist Joe Day and drummer Greg Fundis, rounded the Midwest festival circuit at high-profile events like Summer Camp and Wakarusa, opened for Grammy-award winning Bruce Hornsby, and even produced 4 consecutive installments of their own festival, Shoe Fest.
The all-original 13-track release showcases the band’s diverse influences, ranging from bluegrass to prog-rock to jazz, with it all settling into a familiar comfort zone akin to one’s favorite “old shoe.” The album reaches new heights from previous releases with a star-studded guest roster featuring musicians from the Henhouse Prowlers, The Low Down Brass Band, and Chicago’s production of The Jungle Book.
The Way Down Wanderers
"We don’t consider ourselves folk artists or bluegrass players so much as we consider ourselves song-writers. We try to convey ideas and experiences that are universally meaningful to people. To us, the music and instrumentation exists to move those ideas forward and lift them up; we try not to limit ourselves to one genre of music or any specific type of instrumentation because certain songs might call for something else … keys or an electric guitar, for instance.”
The band’s forthcoming sophomore album, produced and engineered by Grammy winning industry pro, David Schiffman, underscores that sentiment with songs that address love, loss and personal evolution. Framed by instrumentation that ranges cohesively from pop to americana to bluegrass to spoken word, the lyrics find a familiar place in a listeners' heart and mind and the melodies, often powerfully framed by 3 part harmonies, hold them firmly in place. The result is 12 stirring songs that listeners will be drawn to again and again, as relatable and inspiring as they are catchy and uplifting.
Often referred to by fans as one of the hardest-working, hardest-touring bands on the circuit today, the 5-piece Illinois-based act not only proves that classification with their jam-packed tour schedule but also on stage every night, with youthful exuberance and a lively stage show, as reliable as it is infectious. High energy percussion, mandolin, guitar, bass, banjo and fiddle weave seamlessly together to create an experience for fans that has sold out shows across the UK and the United States, filling the front rows with fans not just singing along to one tune, but singing along to all of them. “Everybody says it. We’d be nothing without our supporters. Yeah, they buy tickets and of course we love that, but when we’ve been on the road for 10 hours and walk onto a stage road weary and we see familiar faces singing along, it’s hard to describe. It's everything, really. There’s a whole lot of love there.”
Music enthusiasts are not the only ones taking note. Critics and tastemakers alike have awarded the young artists an impressive number of accolades ranging from official showcases at Folk Alliance International Montreal (2019) AmericanaFest (2018) and International Bluegrass Music Association (2016) to Whitstable UK Session of the Year (2017), a BBC Scotland Session (2017) as well as Finalist, International Song Writing Competition (2015 & 2016), Chicago’s Best Emerging Artist, Deli Magazine (2014) and Songpickr’s Best Songs Spotify Playlist (2016) among others. The young men are no strangers to the festival circuit either, having played major National and Regional Festivals such as Merlefest, Summer Camp, Red Wing Roots Music Festival and Saskatchewan Jazz Fest all across the United States, Canada and the UK. The band has also graced the stage of coveted venues such as Bluegrass Underground (TN), The Fox Theater (CO), Park West (IL), The Vogue (IN) The Station Inn (TN) The Ark (MI), and countless others.
Lead singer song-writers, Collin (mandolin and fiddle) and Austin (guitar and keys) met in their hometown of Peoria, IL in 2012, when the two were just 14 and 17 years old respectively. From there, a brotherly friendship formed that evolved through various other projects and into a collaborative, song-writing partnership that would ultimately form The Way Down Wanderers in 2014. The pair will sealed the deal with a legal brotherhood in August of 2019 when Austin wed Collin’s older sister at a ceremony in Chicago, IL. Illinois natives, John Williams (bass and vocals) and John Merikoski (drums) would join the group later that year, earning a reputation as one of the most dynamic rhythm duos on the circuit today by contributing their own unique brand of high-energy charisma to the band's stage show. Self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Travis Kowalsky (guitar and banjo) of Northern Michigan, the 5th member to join the Wanderers, exhibits a humble low key stage presence that contrasts sharply with his bold and masterful solos.
“There’s really nothing more humbling than discovering that one of our songs meant something in somebody’s life - that it helped them through a tough time, or inspired them to do something meaningful that they may have been holding back on. So the goal for us really, is to put more songs out there that inspire people and to play them for a growing and diverse audience.” Growth has most certainly been an ongoing theme for anybody who has followed the Wanderers’ impressive trajectory. And this next album release promises to push that growth into high gear; The continuation of a relatable and heartfelt Midwestern openness Wanderers fans have grown to know and love, together with a fresh new approach, is sure to rally their base of dedicated fans as well as attract the attention of new listeners, festival promoters and venue managers alike. Stay tuned!
Edward David Anderson's Black Dirt Revival
Edward David Anderson is an American songwriter and rock & roll veteran who spent his formative years fronting the revered Midwest band, Backyard Tire Fire. Known for infectious melodies and memorable messages he penned 8 albums for the band and played countless shows across the US and Canada.
Since their hiatus in 2011 EDA has continued to write and tour as a solo artist. His delivery in the live setting is both dynamic and impactful showcasing a natural prowess on banjo, acoustic/cigar box guitars and foot percussion. He defines his sound as Black Dirt Music. "Songs about people and places, about life and love and loss. It's roots music, cultivated in the fertile soil of the Midwest."
His 2014 debut, Lies & Wishes (produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos) was lauded "a supurb solo effort” by No Depression while David Dye (NPR World Cafe) praised Lower Alabama: The Loxley Sessions as "a wonderfully soulful record."
Poised to release his newest collection of songs, EDA made the album that's been on his mind for some time now. “I've always wanted to make a record in Muscle Shoals. But it needed to be the right batch of songs with the right people,” he recalls. And Chasing Butterflies is just that. A beautifully crafted recording of a writer in his prime.
Look for Chasing Butterflies out on Black Dirt Records October 19th.
$15 (Advance) / $18 (Day of Show) / $25 Weekend Show Pass Available
Ticket Prices listed do NOT include additional Ticket Fees added at online checkout & box office / This is a general admission standing-room show. Limited bar-stool seating will be available on a first-come, first-seated basis