Louise Lybarger, Embarras River Tourism Council, stated, “Not even a blizzard could chill the warm atmosphere at the sold-out Bill Poss and Chicago Farmer show in Newton. The Dance Hall Studio was comfortably arranged with a variety of seating, and the acoustics of the room were perfect for the selection of Americana folk music from the two songwriter/singers.
Bill Poss opened, performing some serious ballads as well as fun songs like "Hay 4 Sale" and "Jack Rabbit". His fiance, JJ McDonald, joined him onstage for a couple of sweet duets. He entertained us between songs with interesting stories about the inspiration for his songs.
Chicago Farmer charmed the Newton crowd with his witty and bittersweet songs that are very relatable to people in very small towns like Newton, or Delavan, Illinois, where Farmer grew up. His songs like "Dirtiest Uniform" attest to the merits of hard work and persistence. "$20 Bill" tells the story of the wisdom he gained from his grandparents. "Everybody Knows Everybody In This Town" speaks for itself. His stories bring a laugh or a tear, just like real life.
Because there were ticket-holders who simply could not attend because of the weather, Chicago Farmer says he plans to return and do another show in Newton.”
Bill Poss (Passalaqua) and his son, Blue, stopped by Life Cafe earlier in the month to talk about the upcoming show, Chicago Farmer, and some other locations he will be performing. Poss is a songwriter and performer from Effingham, Illinois and has toured North America for two decades. Poss' music will take you smoothly from folk and bluegrass to country and rock.
His not-for-profit, Poss Music Works, hosts music festivals and one-off music shows featuring national and regional original music touring acts from all over the country.
On Wednesday nights he can be found at the Village Wine (109 S. Banker Street) in Effingham beginning at 7 p.m. where he hosts talent from all over the region in 15 minute slots, a feature from 8:30-9 p.m. and guitar pull from 9:30-10 p.m.
Moccasin Creek Festival, which will be held June 20-23, 2019 at Larson's Landing in Effingham, IL, will be an even bigger event this year, as Poss will take JJ McDonald as his wife.
Poss and McDonald write songs together, such as “We Do It Our Way Instead,” and perform together which they did at the Chicago Farmer event.
From the small farming community of Delavan, Illinois, with a population of 2,000, Cody Diekhoff, known as the Chicago Farmer, now lives in Chicago. He has traveled many miles performing.
“I love the energy, music, and creativity of Chicago, but at the same time, the roots and hard work of my small town,” Diekhoff says. He grew up listening to punk rock and grunge before discovering Hank Williams. Williams was followed by Prine and Guthrie. Diekhoff is a working-class folk musician to his core. The name Chicago Farmer was originally for a band, but Diekhoff wanted to make a direct connection with his audience.
CBS Chicago said this: “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.”
Chicago Farmer will be performing at the Olney Eagles Lodge on Saturday, March 30 as well as at the Moccasin Creek Festival in June.