Those who have followed the remarkable thirty-year musical career of the BoDeans know that their blend of compelling songs and high-energy performances have retained an unpretentious loyal rock-and-roll following like no other. Best known for their catchy single, “Closer to Free,” the band’s accessible adult alternative sound has led to many a milestone, including a Rolling Stone Reader’s Poll recognition as Best New American Band in 1987 and support slots with U2, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, the Pretenders, David Bowie, and numerous others. Appearances at Farm Aid, Summerfest, Austin City Limits, and other music festivals followed, along with television appearances on Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, and Today, as well as on CNN and ESPN, to name a few. The BoDeans have a permanent installation at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland as part of their Midwest Artists exhibit. After multiple chart-topping radio singles and TV placements, the BoDeans have defined a generation that embraced songs such as “Good Things,” “You Don’t Get Much,” “Idaho,” “If It Makes You,” “Closer to Free,” “Stay,” and “All the World.”
The BoDeans signed their first recording contract with Slash/Warner Brothers Records in 1985, and their debut record, Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams, was released in May 1986. Since then, they have released twelve studio albums, with ten records making the Billboard Top 200 chart and numerous singles on the Mainstream Rock, Top 40, and Triple A radio charts. Few would expect them to still be going strong so many years after Wisconsin’s favorite musical sons first formed, but they have proven as energetic and determined as they did on day one.
Their music is featured throughout the new Netflix original series The Ranch, which features Sam Elliott, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, and Debra Winger. The band has major festival dates confirmed for the summer and a new single coming out that is sure to be another chart-topper. The BoDeans now belong to a small group of bands that have managed to survive the ups and downs of the industry, remaining true to their sound and their style for thirty years and showing no signs of slowing down. While famous for its big, hard-rocking shows, the band has decided to play a handful of select markets in listening rooms featuring a performance with much quieter, more intimate, stripped-down versions of classic BoDeans songs.
BoDeans have a permanent place in Milwaukee music history as one of the most popular bands to come out of the city.
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Not surprising was this band living up to its reputation as one of the best live acts of our time. Outstanding songs and harmonies. Musically tight, diverse, and adventurous.