Songs that lend a voice to the equestrian world in a way only music can.
Far off the beaten path in the fields of Iowa you can find Codfish Hollow, a family-owned farm that is so much more than a place to sow crops and raise cattle. Current owner Tiffany Costello Biehl is the great-granddaughter of the farm’s founders, and remembers well her grandparent’s stories about life on the farm and the Codfish Hollow Saddle Club they there started so many years ago.
While Biehl may be nostalgic about the agricultural and equestrian history of her homestead, since 2009 she has revolutionized the family business, turning the old farmhouse into an art gallery and the hayloft into a concert venue that has played host to the best and brightest in indie music as well as some alternative music superstars, most notably the Counting Crows.
How did this transformation happen in rural Maquoketa, Iowa you ask? Look no further than Daytrotter founder, Sean Moeller. In 2009, Moeller was hanging out over barbeque with one of his favorite acts, the Local Natives, when they happened upon the idea of starting a barn tour. And just like that, the Barnstormer tour was born!
Moeller quickly set out to find regional barns that could host the event, and was put in touch with Biehl. A mere ten days after Moeller walked the property for the first time, Codfish Hollow became the host of the first ever Barnstormer tour. In the subsequent years, Codfish Hollow has hosted a total of five Daytrotter Barnstormer Tour shows, two Barn on the 4th shows and seven Codfish Hollow concerts. Most recently, Codfish Hollow was swept into the partnership between Communion Records and Daytrotter as the two set out on new live music projects together.
The concert going experience at Codfish is truly one-of-a-kind. Visitors are asked to park in a cow pasture about a quarter mile from the venue, and then are shuttled in on a hayride. The fencepost near the barn always has a painted cow skull for the current show, and a carved wooden sign announcing the bands for the evening is mounted on the side of the barn. Inside the hayloft, twinkle lights transform the rustic surroundings into a magical music scene. Meanwhile, the performers are treated to home cooking and small town hospitality in the Biehl’s home.
This video promoting the Barnstormer tour will give you an idea of what it must be like to attend an event at the amazing Codfish Hollow venue and other authentic barns across America.
Thanks to the efforts of Biehl and Moeller, the future of live music in rustic farm environments is so bright, we’ll all be happy to have to wear shades!