EVEN THOUGH The BoDeans' latest album is titled "Black And White," don't be misled to believe that race is the only issue being addressed.
"It's not all about colors and whites and blacks," said singer/songwriter Kurt Neumann, whose band appears at Shriver Hall at Johns Hopkins University tonight at 8 p.m. "It's also about religion, men vs. women, old vs. young. It's actually about people, any people, isolating themselves. I have a feeling that people aren't looking out for each other in general, and that's not a good thing."
Just one look at the lyric sheet for any of the BoDeans' four albums and the versatility of the Milwaukee-born and bred songwriting team of Neumann and Sammy Llanas shines through.
"We get to travel the country a lot and we see a lot," Neumann said. "We write about things without being too specific so everyone can get something out of it."
Take the first song on the new album, "Good Things." The liner notes say it's "about getting beyond preconceptions and prejudice," but it could just as easily be about a love affair.
If the words in songs like "Forever On My Mind" or "You Don't Get Much" aren't compelling enough to sell you on The BoDeans being one of America's finest bands, the rock 'n' roll rhythm of songs like "Good Work" and "Still The Night" will.
Ironically, the only problem with bringing The BoDeans to the masses has been their versatility.
Sometimes they are a rock band, sometimes a hard rock band, sometimes they do ballads, sometimes they even have a country flavor. That fact has kept the band from getting a lot of radio exposure and also kept them off the pop charts.
"We don't fit in any category, and that makes it hard," Neumann said.
"We're sort of a glimpse of everything. Sometimes it's even hard for our fans, because they are so used to a band having just one sound."
Tickets for tonight's performance are $16 and are available at the door beginning at 4 p.m. For more information call 338-8000.
Versatile BoDeans at Shriver Hall