Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
While the BoDeans were re-charging in 1999 and 2000, singer/songwriter and guitarist Kurt Neumann ventured out on his own to produce his solo debut Shy Dog. Neumann rose to prominence when he and fellow singer/songwriter and guitarist Sammy Llanas formed the BoDeans in Waukesha, WI. The two, who had played together since high school, joined with bassist Bob Griffin and drummer Guy Hoffman. The quartet signed to Slash Records for its debut, 1986's Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams. The follow-up, Outside Looking In (1987), saw them reduced to a trio, but commercially broke the group. More albums, lineup changes, and a theme song for the TV show Party of Five (in the late '90s) followed. After nearly 15 years with the group, Neumann (who, when compared to the distinctly voiced Llanas, is often referred to as the "normal-voiced one") took advantage of a break in the action to write, record, and produce Shy Dog. The album marked a rough patch for Neumann, as Warner Bros. had recently dropped the BoDeans; Neumann had also gone through a divorce and his beloved dog, Shy, had died (hence the album's title). The foundation of Neumann's solo release was the sturdy folk-rock for which he had become known with his group; however, some electronic sonic touches and the absence of Llanas' harmonies cast the work in a new light.