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Chicago Farmer CD Release Party

Chicago Farmer CD Release Party

Edward David Anderson

Fri, February 1, 2013

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Castle Theatre

Bloomington, IL

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 18 and over

Note: 21+ Full Venue Access / Unaccompanied Minors: Balcony Only

Chicago Farmer
Chicago Farmer
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. 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, 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. “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. Songs like “Workin’ On It,” are the kind of sing-a-longs he’s known for; it’s become common to see whole rooms full of strangers erupt and sing to the choruses of his songs on first listen. While “The Twenty Dollar Bill” is more sentimental, reminding everyone of that time their own Grandma surreptitiously passed along a little cash to hang onto. Chicago Farmer plans to continue touring relentlessly to support the new album. With Backenforth IL, he solidifies that wherever he is, that’s where he belongs, that’s where the songs will be written and sung, and that’s where the music will be played.
Edward David Anderson
Edward David Anderson
Edward David Anderson is an artist as ancient as he is modern. In a time when the music business desperately flails about, grasping at any new trend that will save its sinking ship, he exists far outside its confines. Best known for his work with the revered Midwestern rock band Backyard Tire Fire who released a string of acclaimed albums in the previous decade, Anderson returns to the national stage with his highly anticipated solo debut, Lies & Wishes. Produced by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, it finds Anderson creating his own mythology through a collection of songs that embrace vulnerability, while remaining grounded in his working class roots. Anderson sings, "I'm the son of a plumber, from a God fearing mother." The lyric says much about where his story begins as an artist. He was born and raised just west of Chicago and lives a simple life, spending winters in an RV alongside the Gulf of Mexico in lower Alabama. Anderson's an American songwriter on an existential quest who seeks and who searches through song.

"I feel like every experience, every mile, every interaction, every tune, sort of got me to where I am at this moment," Anderson recounts while shedding light on the over-arching theme that ties together the 10-track collection. "The songs on the record are confessional by nature. They are songs about loss and love and living and hope. Halfway through my life, it's an honest look in the mirror."

Anderson's journey over the last five years and his response to the challenges he faced is what sets the lifers apart from those that concede the artistic pursuit. The dissolution of Backyard Tire in 2011 was the first obstacle to overcome. The band had built a devout cult following around the U.S., counting Cracker, Reverend Horton Heat and Clutch among their fans, all of whom took BTF on the road exposing them to a wider audience. It was around this time that Steve Berlin of Los Lobos was first drawn to Anderson's songwriting.

“Backyard Tire Fire opened a show for us and I remember being backstage and listening to their music and I was like, ‘Wow, that song sounds really familiar. Whose cover is that? It’s a classic tune,’” says Berlin. “It turns out that they were all Ed’s originals. They just had that instantly memorable quality to them. So, I introduced myself at the show and we became buddies and then collaborators. Ed’s music is so evocative, so well written. I honestly think he is as talented as anyone in the songwriting world and it is important that he be heard.”

Anderson adds: "I was just starting to get back on the road again after Tire Fire split, touring with my friend Johnny Hickman and I got inspired to get back in the studio. I had these songs and had something pretty interesting to say based on the experiences I just went through. I knew if I could get Steve Berlin involved, who is an old friend that I’ve worked with in the past, it could be something special.”

It was just prior to this that Anderson's mother passed away, while the previous winter his wife lost her mother, both to extended illnesses. It was a defining moment for the 40-year old artist and culminated in a torrent of songwriting. Indeed, songs like "Lies & Wishes" "Lost & Found" and "Chain Reaction" delve deep into the human condition, asking difficult questions of himself and his loved ones.

“A lot of the subject matter on this record came from reflecting on these painful experiences” says Anderson. "After losing my mom, I decided I’ve got to make a record and dedicate it to her and make a statement here on my own."

Musically speaking, the core of Lies & Wishes is built around refined melodies, acoustic guitars and sparse arrangements, yet Berlin's production colors the tracks with squalls of electric guitar, affected vocals, drum loops and assorted analog keyboard flourishes. It should also be noted that fans of Anderson’s vintage rock and roll songwriting from his Backyard Tire Fire days will find plenty to love on tunes like “Nothing Lasts Forever,” “Taking It Out On You” and “The Next Melody,” which deliver the big hooks and classic refrains on which he so effortlessly hangs his hat.

This is where we find Edward David Anderson today, on his debut full-length solo recording. His heart's on his sleeve and it's that of an artist. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, but the songs demand to be written.

“I needed to make this album," concludes Anderson. "I feel like it's the beginning of the next chapter for me.”
Venue Information:
The Castle Theatre
209 E. Washington St.
Bloomington, IL, 61701
http://www.thecastletheatre.com/