RED WING, Minn. -- Staying true to the sound and style that first captivated the public 30-plus years ago, the BoDeans continue to connect with their original fans – and to attract new followers who love their Americana/rock sound and high-energy shows.
The band, which got its start in Waukesha, Wis., will be in concert at the Sheldon Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23.
Kurt Neumann, founder and frontman, is enjoying the fact that audiences are becoming increasingly multi-generational.
Some of those new fans, he said, are “people who grew up listening in the back seat” when their parents played BoDeans music on the car radio.
The result is especially fun in outdoor settings where entire families turn out to listen. “I love it,” he said. “The kids have such great energy.”
Coincidentally, The BoDeans made their Red Wing debut at an outdoor venue a few years ago. This will be the band's first Sheldon concert.
“We love the Midwest,” Neumann added. Although he enjoys spending time in warmer climes this time of year, the band typically does a few shows in this region at Thanksgiving and Christmas time.
The BoDeans got their start in 1977 when Neumann and Sam Llanas met in high school in Waukesha. They discovered they had similar music interests and began writing songs together, which led to them performing together in 1980.
They signed their first recording contract in 1985 and released their debut record, “Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams” in 1986. The BoDeans are best known for their catching single, “Closer to Free,” but have had multiple chart-topping radio singles – songs that helped define the generation, including “Good Things,” “If It Makes You,” and “All the World.”
In 1987 the Rolling Stone Reader’s poll named them Best New American Band. The BoDeans went on to share stages with the likes of U2, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, David Bowie and others.
For about 10 years now, they’ve had a permanent installation at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, representing the Midwest. “It’s a great honor,” Neumann said. “A wonderful honor.”
The band has had its ups and downs, he acknowledged. “We’re not a pop band,” and never tried to imitate the pop sound of the moment. “We just did what we did – an Americana sound,” he said.
On a pretty consistent basis, he added, that has meant a mix of electric and acoustic, harmonies and simple melodies that get people singing along.
“I’m the last standing BoDean,” Neumann said; he does all the songwriting now. A number of artists have been part of the group over the years, but there has always been a sustaining vision for music.
In 2016 they released a Christmas record, “The Night Divine,” including an original Christmas song he wrote for a TV show, titled “Christmas Every Day.” Neumann does the music for Netflix’s “The Ranch.” The following year came “Thirteen,” and last year the band released an EP, “Prayer for the Weary.” An all-new album is in the works for next summer.
The audience at the Sheldon on Nov. 23 can expect to hear something from all 30-plus years, including fan favorites and a cover or two, Neumann said.
Before the BoDeans take the stage, the opening band Moors and McCumber will play a set. James Moors and Kort McCumber, who open for the BoDeans at two other concerts on the current tour, blend music influences including roots rock, bluegrass, country and folk, plus a touch of Irish music.
“Their music works really well with what we do,” Neumann said. “It’ll be a great time.”
Tickets are $35-$39. Visit the box office, call 651-388-8700or go online to www.sheldontheatre.org..
If you go…
Who: The BoDeans in concert
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23
Where: Sheldon Theatre
How much: $35-$39
More info: 651-388-8700 or www.sheldontheatre.org