Happy 25th: BoDeans, JOE DIRT CAR

Tuesday, August 4, 2020
BoDeans JOE DIRT CAR Album Cover

25 years ago this week, the BoDeans released the first live album of their career, a two-disc set which found the group offering up two dozen tunes recorded over the course of the previous five years.

Why did the BoDeans decide to put out a live album at that point in their career? The answer would seem to be found in a 2015 interview with Sound and Vision, where vocalist / acoustic guitarist Sam Llanas conceded that the band struggled mightily to capture their live sound in the studio.

“The finest moments of the BoDeans were always onstage,” said Llanas. “Live, the songs were driven mainly by two voices and very simple instrumentation, allowing the vocals to be heard in a very pure way. l think we rarely captured that in a studio. JOE DIRT CAR is the best representation of this, in my opinion.”

As noted, the contents of JOE DIRT CAR come from throughout a five-year period in the BoDeans’ career, and if you’re wondering what songs were recorded where and when, we’ve got that info for you:

•    "Ooh (She's My Baby)” recorded at Summerfest, Milwaukee, WI (September 2, 1989)
•    "Still The Night," "Misery," and "I'm In Trouble Again" recorded at the Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL (September 16-17, 1989)
•    "You Don't Get Much" and "Walking After Midnight" recorded at the Park West, Chicago, IL (February 24, 1992)
•    "The Ballad of Jenny Rae" recorded at Maritime Days, Milwaukee, WI (September 3, 1992)
•    "True Devotion" recorded at the Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL (November 26, 1993)
•    "Say About Love," "Feed The Fire," "Closer To Free," "Good Things," "Black, White and Blood Red," and "Go Slow Down" recorded on Clinton Street, Chicago, IL (September 8, 1994)
•    "Idaho," "Fadeaway," "Paradise," "Naked," "Lookin' For Me Somewhere," "Far Far Away From My Heart," "She's a Runaway," "Texas Ride Song," and "Good Work" recorded at Noe Valley Ministry, San Francisco, CA (May 28, 1994)

If you’re a BoDeans fan who never had the opportunity to see them live during this era, then you can rest easy knowing that the sonic experience of listening to this LP is about as close as you can possibly get.


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