Turner Cody arrived at the Sidewalk Cafe in New York City in the fall of 1999.
There he cut his songwriting teeth alongside other members of the Anti-Folk scene including Adam Green and Jeffrey Lewis.
New York was a different place at the end of the 20th century. The fertile mix which had so inspired artists in the 70s and 80s had not yet disappeared. It could still be felt in the open mics in the East Village and in the avant-garde performance clubs around the corner. The Rock n’ Roll scene from which bands like The Strokes would soon emerge was in full swing in the bars of the Lower East Side, its leather-clad acolytes drinking and carousing deep into the night. This was the New York that Turner Cody and his fellow aspiring songwriters inhabited from park to pad to all-night diner.
In the early days of the Sidewalk Cafe, Cody made mostly low-fi home-recorded albums including Turner Cody, This Springtime and Others, Who Went West, The Cody Choir, Buds Of May, The Great Migration, and Quarter Century. A chance encounter with the French folk-rock trio Herman Dune resulted in many European tours and an artistic collaboration which remains strong to this day. From then on, Cody’s haunts would not just be the bars of the East Village, but the cafes of Paris and the beer halls of Berlin.
In 2008, Cody’s first 7 records were released as the compilation 60 Seasons by b.y_records. His song “Corner Of My Room” appeared in the Oscar nominated film Un Prophet directed by Jacques Audiard.
Over the next decade, Cody recorded First Light, Gangbusters, The Rules Of The Road, Last Of The Big Time Spenders, Plans And Schemes, Hiding In Plain Sight and The Duke Of Decline. The indie-folk inspired approach of his early albums evolved into a studio sound reminiscent of Cody’s heroes Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt, Lou Reed, and Hank Williams.
These last 7 albums were released as the compilation The Great Shadow in 2019.
Songs Of Turner Cody: A Tribute Album featuring Adam Green, Jeffrey Lewis, Herman Dune, Diane Cluck, Timesbold, and many others was also released in 2019.
Cody’s commitment to songwriting has remained consistent over his fourteen records. His lyrics draw on a wide range of influences. Any fan of fiction and poetry can detect hints of Poe, Fitzgerald, and Melville; of Ginsberg, Kerouac, Rimbaud, and even the vernacular of American cinema. Cody's love of songs extends to Steven Foster, Civil War ballads, Jazz standards, show tunes, and to all the luminaries of his craft. Cody is above all a wordsmith. Language is the cornerstone of his work.
After twenty years in New York City, Tuner Cody decamped to St. Louis with his wife Madeline Valentine and their son Solomon. Turner Cody remains a songwriter in the American tradition.
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