Cody Diekhoff was clearly touched by the sentiments of Jack Dupp & the Empty Bottles member Mike Klug that Diekhoff was central to a revitalized Bloomington-Normal music scene.
Klug said "Ed (Anderson) and Cody took this town kicking and screaming against their will and made a scene our of nothing. I feel they're just such genuinely nice people, they made the scene."
"I knew I liked those guys," laughed Diekhoff during an appearance on Morning Edition before turning more serious. "That's really humbling to hear him say that, he's a good dude himself. I'll have to send him a check."
Diekhoff, who uses the stage name Chicago Farmer, reflected on is early years in the Bloomington-Normal music scene.
"I remember being really, really young and I'd be at a show with Ed and we'd be talking about musicians and and he would say 'those guys are lifers.' I didn't really know what he meant at the time, but now that I look back I guess I'm kind of a lifer, and Ed's a lifer too. We've been in it full throttle for so many years."
Diekhoff referred to himself as stubborn, which he said was a good trait to have as a musician and artist.
"We just didn't want to give up, so we kept forging ahead and so many people in this community supported us. So we also gave back to the community," said Diekhoff.
The many years working on the Holiday Jamboree was one of a number of charity events Diekhoff mentioned as an attempt to give back
"This is what we love to do, so we kept forging ahead and brought along as many people as we could," he said. He then emphasized that the vibe in Bloomington-Normal is special compared to many other cities he visits while touring nationally.
"I see a lot of negativity when I hit the road. I think Bloomington is great, whether it's hip-hop or folk or blues, everybody is like 'lets scratch each other's back, you support my thing I'll support yours,' and to have The Castle and these outlets get behind it, it's made a big difference," said Diekhoff.
Chicago Farmer with special guest Willie Watson, founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show will play the Castle Theater tonight. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.