For a dozen years now, you could catch the BoDeans playing in the beer-soaked clubs around grassy Waukesha, Wis. You still can — but they’ve become more than local wonders. In 1994, TV producers Amy Lippman and Chris Keyser deemed the BoDeans’ jangly Midwestern sound on ”Closer to Free” perfect for Fox’s Party of Five. It’s now the show’s theme.
The band maintains an impassioned following through local radio and fans (record stores stock their stuff devotedly), and singer Sammy Llanas — who shares guitar, voice, and songwriting duties with Kurt Neumann — is often at area clubs, jamming on the stages where the band made its name. ”It’s worked out the way we thought,” says the wiry, dark-haired Llanas. ”A slow career build.”