With Supporting Act, Chris Trapper
Kurt Neumann, founder and frontman for the BoDeans, knows his audience well. Long known as one of the best live acts in the business, the band continues to tour year-round. “I realized some time ago that the key to the BoDeans’ identity is the fan connection to our music,” he said. “Nowhere is that more evident or rewarding as when we come together live. We love to connect with the fans who have supported us for so long and who have brought us so much inspiration. We will continue to play as long as they continue to come out and sing along.
The BoDeans signed their first recording contract with Slash/Warner Brothers in 1985 and their first record, Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams was released in 1986. Chart-topping songs like “Fadeaway,” “Only Love,” and “Dreams” won them Rolling Stone’s Readers’ Poll for “Best New American Band in 1987. They were part of a small contingent of bands that inspired a new radio format known as Adult Alternative, Album Rock Triple A. The band’s reputation for delivering a live dynamic show garnered support slots with U2, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, The Pretenders, David Bowie, and Chris Isaak. They’ve shared the stage with Los Lobos, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Joan Osborne, Train, The Wallflowers, Cheap Trick, Robbie Robertson, and others.
In the 36 years since the first album, BoDeans have released 13 studio albums with ten records that hit the Billboard Top 200 chart, and have had numerous singles on the Mainstream Rock, Top 40 and Triple A radio charts. Their 14 th studio album, 4 The Last Time, was released in 2022. Glide magazine had this to say about it: “With the release of the 14 th BoDeans album, the Milwaukee-based band can rightly lay claim to acting as the bridge between alternative rock and Americana. The use of “Closer to Free” as the theme song to the hit series Party of Five helped consolidate the group’s initial fan following and, in the interim, has also fostered the longstanding independence of multi-instrumentalist Kurt Neumann, who has fronted the band since the 2011 departure of co-founder Sammy Llanas.”
BoDeans songs have been used throughout the Netflix series The Ranch and in television series including The Simpsons, Northern Exposure, and Dawson’s Creek. Their songs have appeared in movies including The Color of Money, The Player, Opportunity Knocks, and Heavyweights.
The BoDeans is now one of a small group of bands that has survived the ups and downs of the recording industry while remaining true to the sound and style they’ve kept for more than 35 years. Their contributions to music have been recognized with a permanent installation at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland as part of its Midwest Artists exhibit.
Come hear them play. You’ll be closer to free when you do.