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Korfe leads off for Little Texas at Jubilee

While other musicians might sing of country living without having ever been near a tractor, Todd County’s own Jeremiah James Korfe has a deeper claim than most to truly represent the rural lifestyle in his music. Korfe, who is performing in Wadena June 14 as part of the June Jubilee festivities, grew up on a dairy farm near Clarissa and still splits his time between making songs in Nashville and helping with field work back home each spring.

After Korfe graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 2001, he moved out to Los Angeles for eight years and spent time in various rock bands; playing the X Games Tour and action sports tours. Around 2009, several events coincided to turn Korfe back towards his country music roots. The rock label he was working for went under, and calamity struck back home with the swine flu epidemic threatening his family’s farm. While taking a break from helping hold down the fort, the recently returned Korfe went to a Dierks Bentley concert and saw that the “country” act was using a lot of the same instruments and equipment Korfe was familiar with from the rock tours he had just finished. The themes of the songs being played struck close to home, too -- but with Korfe’s experience working down on the farm rather than rocking out on the west coast.

“It was like, ‘Goll, they’re just singing about what I actually do in the spring and fall,’” he recalled. “I started writing more country-style music... I feel like I finally found my solid niche. It’s going good.”

“Good” may be something of an understatement. One of Korfe’s songs spent eight weeks in the top ten list for Country Music Television (CMT). He’s also performed with his old pal Dierks Bentley, and toured in countless states and foreign countries .

Korfe also had a stint on a country-themed reality TV dating show called “Sweet Home Alabama”. Although he said he had to be talked into signing on to the show by his manager, sister and mom, he wound up dating the girl he was paired with for a year after the season ended. He gave her kudos for at least trying to put up with the cold up north.

“Not a lot of people can cut it in Minnesota,” he said.

Korfe said he loves living part-time in Nashville because it gives him the chance to play alongside accomplished music pros that are dedicated enough to have moved from their own hometowns to be closer to the music scene. He let his country roots show in describing what it takes to make it as a musician, however.

“Music, man, it’s just like farming, it really is,” he said. “You the the ground, plant the seed, but if all the sudden the rain don’t come and the sun doesn’t shine, it doesn’t matter how much work you put in, you still don’t have much for a crop.”

Future plans for Korfe include continuing his pursuits of farming in Eagle Bend, performing in Los Angeles and songwriting in Nashville. He’s particularly proud of a song he wrote about he and his dad farming called “Sun up, Sun Down”, which came out two weeks ago.

“I’m pretty excited about that one,” Korfe said. “Anytime you can sing about what you do with your dad; what you’ve done your whole life, it’s pretty fun.”

Korfe said he’s looking forward to the June 14 show at the Wadena County fairgrounds because it’s first chance he’s had in some time to perform near his hometown.

“I’ve got a ton of family from (the) Wadena, Verndale area,” he said. “It’s always more fun when you get to play for people you grew up with.”