By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Jun 04, 2004 at 5:22 AM

{image1}"Resolution" is the first new BoDeans album in eight years. The band hasn't played locally since the Five-Year Anniversary Bash on Dec. 31 at the Pabst Theater and won't play at Summerfest this year, so "Resolution" is the perfect way to find out what Sammy and Kurt have been up to, or if you're not a loyal fan, to hear a solid new collection of harmonies and guitars.

Sam Llanas and Kurt Neumann have fronted the BoDeans for more than 20 years. Their new Zoe/Rounder Records release -- due out on June 22 -- was produced at Neumann's Slamshack studio near Austin, Texas and sharply shows the different musical paths that the two are following, while staying true to the classically simple songs that have helped the band endure.

"Resolution" -- which has a name that conjures finality -- opens with highly singable "If It Makes You," a song the band has played live over the past several years. It's a stirring anthem that's already getting good airplay in Chicago and on WUWM's "Live at the Café."

Overall, the album has a pretty optimistic feel with the more upbeat, pop numbers crafted by Neumann and the more cinematic songs from Sammy's pen.

"Sam and I are total opposites," explains Neumann. "He tends to write real good little stories, where I favor more inspirational stuff. But, we've always helped refine the lyrics, melodies and structures of each other's material."

The romantic flashback "Marianne" is the best example of Llanas' style with its Springsteen feel. His "Slipping into You" is another solid story set in the streets of New Orleans.

"Wild World" rocks with the harmony that tried and true BoDeans fans know well. It has that sweet and sour blend with a bit of an edge.

"Although our voices are very different," says Llanas, "they really complement each other. Kurt's got more of a smooth, lower tone and can do that bottom thing, where I've got more of a high, raspy, gravelly thing that I can lay right on top."

For those wondering, Bob Griffin is still with the band, playing bass on all 14 tracks and adding some accordion, B-3 organ, vibraphone and drums.

As they have with other major releases, the BoDeans will play a live show at the Tower Records, 2301 N. Clark St., in Chicago on June 22 at 5:30 p.m. Without a major record store like Tower or Virgin, Milwaukee can't host such a visible event so the band heads south for the exposure.

The BoDeans will play July 16 in Minneapolis, July 17 at a KBCO show in Winter Park, Colo. and are currently scheduled to be back in the area at Sheboygan's Lakefest on Aug. 21. No Milwaukee summer dates are set.

The BoDeans Web site is

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.