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Saturday, 21 July 2012 13:57

BoDeans 7/21/12

BoDeans 7/21/12
Written by Kris Embry
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Formed in the heartland in the early 1980s by combining elements of roots rock with pop to create a more polished sound, the BoDeans have long been a quintessentially American band.

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Co-founded, and co-fronted, by Sammy Llanas and Kurt Neumann, who both shared vocal and guitar duties, the BoDeans found commercial and critical success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band had its biggest hit in the mid '90s with "Closer to Free," a song which may be best known to many as the theme song from the TV show "Party of Five." And yet, nearly twenty years later the band is still going strong.

Still, "American Made," the band's eleventh record, is a departure from their previous work. Llanas left the band in 2011, leaving Kurt Neumann to front the band and take on all of the songwriting. Like many other artists, Neumann took a look around at the state of the nation and sought to produce a record that reflected both his blue-collar background, and that took a hard, yet hopeful, look at the American identity in these troubled times. The result is a record that expresses the resilience of the American spirit and the greatness that remains, while still facing the country's woes head on.

Despite challenges the band faced due to personnel changes and other difficulties in the recording and production of "American Made," the BoDeans are still proving, after nearly 30 years, that their music is as heartfelt, vital and all-American as ever.

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