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Waukesha, Milwaukee WI, United States (1983 – present)

The BoDeans are a and band formed in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1983 by Kurt Neumann (vocals & electric guitar) and Sam Llanas (vocals & acoustic guitar). In 1985, after adding a drummer and a bassist, the band signed a contract with Slash/Warner Records and recorded their first album. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the band had several singles in the Top 40 “mainstream rock” charts. In the mid-1990s, the band had two Top 10 songs in the “Adult contemporary” charts.

In January 1987, a Rolling Stone magazine reader poll voted them Best New American Band. They have rotated through various musicians, including keyboardists Michael Ramos and Susan Julian, and drummers Rick Jeager, Kenny Aronoff, Rafael Gayol, Nick Kitsos, and most recently Kevin Leahy.

Their 1993 song “Closer to Free” was selected as the theme song to the TV series Party of Five.

The band took some time off in the late 1990s so Sam could record a solo album. Sam created Absinthe “A Good Day To Die” with the help of Milwaukee musicians Jim Eannelli (guitars and bass) and Guy Hoffman (formerly of Oil Tasters and Violent Femmes, currently of Radio Romeo). Kurt subsequently released his solo album in 2000 called Shy Dog on which he plays all the instruments.

In 2001, the 17-song compilation The Best Of BoDeans - Slash and Burn was released on London/Slash/Rhino. In 2004, they returned with new songs on Resolution released on Rounder/Zoe. A live CD, in 2005, Homebrewed: Live from the Pabst. At the end of 2005, a DVD for Homebrewed: Live from the Pabst was released.


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  • sadlerfan

    Do any of you have their American Made CD? Would you recommend it? Going to see them at the MN Zoo amphtheater in a month so I'm sure I'll hear a lot of it. liam is right...won't be the same without Sammy.

    18 Jun 2012 Reply
  • liam7777

    I hope Sammy rejoins the band...just not the same without him!

    17 Jun 2012 Reply
  • CAVermeer

    Oh I loved these guys 25 years ago...still sounding good!

    12 Jun 2012 Reply
  • Joesow

    Great band, great music simple

    12 May 2011 Reply
  • matthias1955

    I heard them in the late 80's in the Cologne club "Luxor". These guys are one of the best bar bands around. See them in a small, cramped, indoor space full of beer and bodies. It was awesome.

    16 Jun 2010 Reply
  • vigILgt

    decent 90s roots smells good.

    11 Apr 2010 Reply
  • Kggk

    These guys are one of the best bar bands around. See them in a small, cramped, indoor space full of beer and bodies. It's awesome.

    14 Feb 2009 Reply
  • leeryy

    I loove hey pretty girl,listened in the first Dawson's Creek episode ^_^

    5 May 2008 Reply
  • Mike_Anthony

    Indeed, the concert in Seattle was excellent.

    28 Apr 2008 Reply
  • Browlie

    AWESOME concert in Seattle tonight guys! Thank you thank you thank you! :) :) :)

    28 Apr 2008 Reply
  • josecharts

    Closer To Free was a worldwide hit

    3 Nov 2007 Reply
  • emergingsynergy

    check 'em out!

    13 Aug 2007 Reply