20 Questions

Cory Farley – Turning a Wrench to Turning out Country Music


20 Questions is our opportunity to talk with various people in the country music industry.  Everyone from musicians and singers to public relations and concert promoters.

This month we talk to Cory Farley of the Cory Farley Band. The Iowa native and country music singer/songwriter will be performing at the Bash on the Bay on Put-In-Bay on Thursday, August 31.

  1. Where were you born and raised?

“I was born and raised on a large farm just north of town in Decorah, Iowa.”

  1. What was your childhood like?

“My Childhood was pretty much perfect.  I grew up working a beef farm with my parents, played every sport I could in school and had brother to beat up and beat me up on a regular basis.”

  1. Who introduced you to Country Music?

“My first memories of country music came from my Grandpa’s farm.  He had a small dairy operation and he would only let his cattle listen to country music while they were being milked.  My older brother and I would always change it to a different station and my grandpa would always yell “Do you have any idea how much money I’m losing” and he would change it back to country.”

  1. When did you first start to sing and play guitar?

“While in college I was introduced to karaoke and caught the bug from there. Also, could have been the fact I was in Mexico, and might have had one or two more drinks then I should have, and I had finally had the nerve enough to try karaoke for the first time.  I always sang but never in front of anyone till then.”

  1. Where did you attend college?

“I went to college in Arizona at a school for Motorcycle Mechanics (MMI) Motorcycle Mechanics Institute.  I used to race motocross and that was always my passion before singing came into my life.”

  1. When did you decide that you wanted to give Country Music a chance as a career?

“While in Arizona, I ended up joining a local country band and from the first time standing on stage in front of a crowd with a real band instead of a karaoke machine – I knew from that moment this is all I wanted in life.”

  1. When did you first start performing and do you remember where?

“My very first performance as a front man of a band was at a place called Waddell’s Longhorn Corral in Buckeye, Arizona. I was 19.”

  1. When you first traveled to Nashville, what were your impressions of the town and the talent there?

“When I first got to Nashville I found out that I was a very small fish in a giant ocean.  But I knew if I could have the chance to get on Broadway that I could dominate it!  I have now been playing on Broadway for 5 years now.  To hold down the same shift for 5 years in Nashville is pretty much retirement age in a regular job.”

  1. You have been traveling the country performing for quite awhile. Any favorite spots so far that have been a surprise?

“There is a very small club down in Pheba, MS.  It burnt down now, but it used to be called The Bank.  I remember walking in to this tiny little club after we just played in Starkville, MS the night before in a huge venue, in front of a packed house.  And now we were standing in this tiny little club that didn’t even have a stage and could only hold maybe 75 people.  I thought I was going to kill my manager at the time.  I told my guys lets just do the gig and get the hell out of here and get back to Nashville.  It turned out to be one of the best times of my life.  You wanna play in front of a party crowd that still parties like the wild west then you need to play in Pheba, MS.  For many years I went back to play at the bar out of respect for the owner and also to remember I’ll never be to big or to good or to full of myself to ever play anywhere. Now as long as you have a corner with some outlets we can plug into, I’ll play for ya!”

  1. You have opened up for some big national acts like you will at Bash on the Bay…what are some highlights that you will never forget?

“I opened up for Jason Aldean in Wisconsin in 2014.  But the first time I saw Jason Aldean was in 2004 in Scottsdale, Arizona at a bar called Rawhide.  It was a free show and there couldn’t have been more then maybe 50 people there.  I remember standing on the side of the stage watching Jason do his show just thinking about the night he performed in front of only 50 people and put on the exact same stage attitude as he was in front of 30,000 people that night.  It was a very humbling experience.”

  1. What music do you have out right now and where can folks find it?

“Currently we have two full albums out.  Songs from the Bed of My Truck and the other album is called Big Deal in a Small Town. Both are available on iTunes.”

  1. You are known for a high-energy show. When people come to see you at Bash on the Bay, what can they expect to see from the Corey Farley Band?

“The reason I put on such a high energy show is because I’m not Vince Gill.  I can’t stop people in my tracks when I start to sing.  But what I can do is make you watch me entertain. I try to make people feel like they were part of a show instead of just watching one.”

  1. Besides opening for Toby Keith, what are some of the other highlights of 2017 for you and the band?

“2017 has been amazing so far.  We were able to go out with Easton Corbin and open for him.  Got to play at some major fairs and festivals and have been non-stop since the beginning of this year.”

  1. How many days a year are you on the road?

“We spend a lot of time on the road.  I think for the month of July counted only 8 nights out of the month that I slept in my own bed.”

  1. Who writes the music that you record? And what makes you feel that you need to record and release a certain song?

“I wrote all the music on my first two albums.  And the reason why is I wanted to be known as a songwriter and not just a performer.”

  1. Besides performing and singing, what are some of your musical goals for both short and long term?

“Short term goal is getting the 3rd studio album recorded and released. Next goal, and always the ultimate goal, is getting that record deal.”

  1. What do you have planned for after the summer is over?

“After the summer we are jumping right back into the studio to get our latest album finished. “

  1. What do you do in your spare time…when you have some?

“In my spare time I’m usually somewhere with my kids.  I have a son and a daughter that are my best friends.  So, we are always riding motorcycles or casting a line in the water.  Or, just hanging out in the living room watching Transformers or Batman.”

  1. Where can folks follow you and find out more about the Cory Farley Band?

“The can follow us on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and instagram.  Just check out Cory Farley Band.”

  1. If you weren’t singing country music, what kind of job would you be doing?

“If I wasn’t singing country music, I would be wrenching on a motorcycle or four-wheeler right now.  Most likely back in Decorah, Iowa, and be married to my high school sweet heart while working on my parents farm. I’m fine with either.”

Recommended for you