Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Kurt Neumann (musician)

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Birth name  Kurt Robert Neumann
Music group  BoDeans (Since 1983)
Role  Singer
Name  Kurt Neumann
Years active  1979–present

Kurt Neumann (musician) wwwjacneedcomPhotoFileNeumannBoDeansjpg
Born  9 October 1961 (age 54) Milwaukee, WI (1961-10-09)
Genres  Alternative, roots rock
Occupation(s)  Vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, record producer
Instruments  Vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums, mandolin
Education  Waukesha South High School
Albums  Love & Hope & Sex & Dr, Joe Dirt Car, Go Slow Down, Outside Looking In, Indigo Dreams

Kurt Robert Neumann (October 9, 1961) is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter of the roots-rock band BoDeans. Although primarily a guitar player, Neumann has also been known to play drums (his first instrument), bass, keyboards, and mandolin.


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In 1977, Neumann and Sam Llanas met while in high school in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Soon after, they began writing songs together and performing as a duo. In 1983, they formed the band BoDeans with the addition of drummer Guy Hoffman and bassist Bob Griffin. The band signed with Slash/Warner Records in 1985, and have since released nine studio albums and two live albums. Neumann's introspective songwriting and unique guitar playing style added significantly to the band's sound. Some BoDeans albums have been produced and recorded by Neumann, including 2004's "Resolution", 2010's "Mr. Sad Clown", and 2011's "Indigo Dreams". Neumann also has contributed guitar and guest vocals to several albums, most notably Robbie Robertson's debut album in 1987, Good Evening by Marshall Crenshaw in 1989, and Flyer by Nanci Griffith in 1994.

In 1997, Neumann recorded a cover of Bruce Springsteen's Atlantic City for the compilation One Step Up/Two Steps Back: The Songs of Bruce Springsteen.

In 2000, Neumann released "Shy Dog", his only solo album to date. Playing all the instruments, the album's sound is influenced by genres such as modern rock, funk, and hip-hop. In 2005, Neumann provided the soundtrack for the movie The Godfather of Green Bay.

Guitar style and equipment

Neumann's guitar playing style with the BoDeans has changed significantly from album to album. Although not a heavy user of effects, Neumann has made use of delays and other textural effects throughout most of his career. His guitar style is characterized by ringing open chords, use of the whammy bar, and smooth clean or tube-overdriven tones. Since the American Made album, he has mostly stopped using a pick and instead plays with bare fingers. On certain songs such as "Still the Night", he uses hybrid picking, a technique that involves fingerpicking while using the pick simultaneously.

In the band's early days, he favored a clean tone with slap-echo in the style of rockabilly, using modified Fender Telecasters and Super Reverb amps almost exclusively. By the late 1980s, he began using longer quarter or dotted-eighth note stereo delays to create rhythmic textures. Because of this, his style was sometimes compared to U2's The Edge. Around this time, he used a large rackmount setup with several digital effects processors, two GT Electronics studio preamps, and three Fender Super Reverb amps modified for rackmounting.

Around the Go Slow Down era, Neumann was using a Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamp and Simul-Class 395 power amp. He also had a custom purple guitar designed by Wisconsin luthier Bob Casper, which Neumann described as sounding like a "chainsaw" on the high-gain opening riff of "Closer to Free". Later in the decade, he also played Gibson and Epiphone hollowbodies. By the early 2000s, he was using two Fender Hot Rod DeVille amps, and a small rack with a Marshall JMP-1 or Rocktron VooDu Valve preamp running into the front end of the DeVilles. Around the Resolution era, he was using a Dunlop Crybaby from Hell wah during many solos.

Since the late 2000s, he has been using custom Fulton-Webb amps from Austin, TX, and a simpler rig with a mono pedalboard. He builds and plays custom "Bastard" guitars, which are made from unique parts from other guitars and feature hand-painted tung oil finishes. They are mostly in the form of Stratocasters, but with rear-routed bodies.


  • Shy Dog (2000)
  • References

    Kurt Neumann (musician) Wikipedia