Venue Spotlight - Codfish Hollow

Tiffany and Shawn Biehl, Codfish Hollow

It’s been referred to as a place of magic by Adriel Denae. The 4onthefloor calls it “community in the truest sense of the word”. It is a music venue, an art installation, a place of scenic beauty. It is Codfish Hollow.

The history of Codfish Hollow runs deep. In the distant past, it was a community, a cluster of small neighboring farms with a church and a one-room schoolhouse. The remnants of that community are a farmhouse and its outbuildings, and down the road, the schoolhouse that has been converted into a home. The farm is owned by descendants of the people who built it, Tiffany Costello Biehl and her husband Shawn Biehl. Tiffany grew up playing in the hollow as her grandparents lived in a home built in the 1950s, on a hill overlooking the old farmstead. Tiffany is a font of history regarding the old community, from the original settlement with a log cabin, to the farmhouse where her grandfather was born and the barn that he built. She tells how her grandmother grew up on a neighboring farm, and recounts stories of the saddle club that her grandparents began all those years ago. The Codfish Hollow Saddle Club still exists, but has a new location. The Biehls recently reacquired the land where the original saddle club had its clubhouse and riding ring.

Fast forward to 2009. Tiffany and Shawn were contacted by their friend Aric Keil who told them Sean Moeller of Daytrotter was looking for cool barns for concerts for a tour of bands. Moeller paid them a visit, and ten days later they were hosting their first Barnstormer. Thus began a series of Daytrotter concerts in the Codfish Hollow barn. Since then, the Biehls have built a stage and added improvements to the barn.

In 2010, the Biehls booked their first non-Daytrotter show, and this year nearly all of their shows were booked without the Daytrotter name. 2013 brought their biggest year with more shows and larger crowds. And 2013 began a new partnership with the Communion tour, as the Daytrotter stop of the tour. Tiffany says Sean Moeller of Daytrotter has always had a guiding hand though, offering suggestions of bands and helping with contacts. They plan to continue booking their own shows as well as working with Daytrotter and Communion Records.

Traveling bands are in for a real treat when they make a stop at Codfish Hollow. Tiffany and Shawn open their home to the bands, providing home-cooked meals and an after-party. The green room in the lower part of the barn is stocked with food and beverage, some of which is carried in by friends and family like at an old-fashioned barn dance. Many bands are stuck with fast food and end up sleeping in their vehicles on the road, so Tiffany makes Codfish Hollow a bit of an oasis for them. She enjoys taking care of them and loves the music. During shows she can be seen darting about like an elf, alternately making sure bands have everything they need and standing at the front of the stage, her eyes shining with excitement.

When visitors arrive for a show, they find themselves parking in a cow pasture, about a quarter of a mile from the barn. A hayrack arrives to shuttle them to the entrance, and Marvin takes them on a ride down the twisting road into the hollow. The fencepost near the barn sports a cow skull, freshly painted for the current show. Tiffany paints a new skull for each show. On the side of the barn, a carved wood sign announces the bands for the evening. This is hand made special for each show by a local wood artist. Across the creek from the barn, the ramshackle house where Tiffany's grandfather was born hosts various art displays. The inside of the barn is lit with strings of lights, and as the sun sets, the outside comes alive with tiny lights as well.

This is Codfish Hollow. Its magic is in the community and the love of music and people. That magic has attracted some tremendous independent acts to the area, and will continue to do so in the future.

Dustin Smith and the Sunday Silos at Codfish Hollow
Tiffany Biehl designs a new skull for each show at Codfish Hollow
Absorbing the magic at Codfish Hollow
Hand-carved signs announce the bands at Codfish Hollow