with Trapper Schoepp
Those who have followed BoDeans’ remarkable 30-year musical career know that their blend of compelling songs and high energy performances have retained an unpretentious rock & roll loyal following like no other. Best known for their catchy single, “Closer To Free,” the band’s accessible adult alternative sound has led to many a milestone, including a Rolling Stone Reader’s Poll for Best New American Band in 1987, and support slots with U2, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, The Pretenders, David Bowie and numerous others. Appearances at Farm Aid, Summerfest, ACL Festival and others followed, along with TV appearances on “Saturday NightLive,” “Letterman,” “Today,” “Imus,” CNN, and ESPN, to name a few. BoDeans have a permanent installation at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland as part of their Midwest Artists exhibit. After multiple chart-topping radio singles, and TV placements, BoDeans have defined a generation that embraced songs like “Good Things,” “You Don’t Get Much,” “Idaho,” “If It Makes You,” “Closer To Free,” “Stay,” and “All The World.” BoDeans signed their first recording contract with Slash/Warner Brothers Records in 1985 and their debut record, “Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams” was released May, 1986. Since then, they have released 12 studio albums with ten records that hit the Billboard Top 200 Chart, and numerous singles on the Mainstream Rock, Top 40 and Triple A radio charts.
Few would expect them to still be going strong – so many years after Wisconsin’s favorite musical sons first formed, but they’ve proved as energetic and determined as they did on day one. Their music is featured throughout the new Netflix original series, “The Ranch,” which features Sam Elliott, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson and Debra Winger. They have major festival dates confirmed for the summer, and a new single coming out that is sure to be another chart-topper.
BoDeans now reside in a small group of bands that have managed to survive the ups and downs of the industry, remaining true to their sound and their style, for 30 years, and show no signs of slowing down.
About Trapper Schoepp:
Trapper Schoepp is a young man who’s befriended a strange and diverse cast of characters during his 24 years. That small army of rogues and rebels, drifters and dreamers, soldiers and schemers populate his songs, their tragedies and comedies, their lives and deaths recalled in his finely etched musical vignettes.
The Minnesota-born, Wisconsin-based tunesmith and teller of tales (both tall and true), returns with his second effort Rangers & Valentines (Xtra Mile Recordings). The record follows his critically acclaimed 2012 debut Run Engine, Run, with his band the Shades. That LP earned notices in Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and Paste, with the folks at Huffington Post calling him a “master storyteller” and PBS hailing his “story songs that explore and explode the conventions of rock and roll.”
On Rangers & Valentines, Schoepp defies the limitations of the standard-issue Americana platter, hopping genres – you’ll hear lots of brass, backing singers and B-3 — as the songs build to delirious musical highs. His narratives, meanwhile, find subjects in the narrow margins of society, the strange twists (literal and metaphorical) in the weather, and the vagaries of a troubadour’s transient life – with lyrics that flash a lacerating wit and humanist streak that’s at the core of his craft.
Produced by pop polymath and Raconteurs member Brendan Benson at his Readymade Studios in Nashville, the record finds Schoepp handling vocals, guitar and harmonica. He’s aided by an array of estimable musicians including his brother and musical-foil-since-birth Tanner Schoepp (providing bass guitar and vocal harmonies), Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady), John Davis (Superdrag), the McCrary Sisters — even comedian and WTF podcaster Marc Maron chips in on background vocals and lead guitar.
Schoepp shines up the well-worn clichés of singer-songwriterdom and renders them anew. Evoking a series of vivid protagonists and settings (fittingly, each track will have its own accompanying video, solidifying the cinematic quality of this set) his work variously recalls prime Prine (John, that is), the nuances of Newman (Randy, of course), the boozy bonhomie of The Replacements, and the unflinching language of someone well-versed in the Zevonian dialect.
Schoepp mixes fact and family lore to conjure the hardscrabble history “Ballad of Olof Johnson” and chides modern-day wannabes on “Lost Cowboy.” The road story “Ogalalla” answers the question: what happens to your mind when you’re snowbound in Nebraska with nothing but a bottle of Nyquil and The Hobbit at the local picture show for company? Meanwhile, the arch love song satire “Talking Girlfriend Blues” deftly explains how to preserve your dignity while hitchhiking to a date – and what to do when your ride turns out to have eyes for the same girl.
Elsewhere, ”Don’t Go” offers a poetic post-9/11 story of love and war; while “Settlin’ or Sleepin’ Around” questions modern-day swipe right, hook up culture. Schoepp continues his affinity for songs set in hospitals with “Mono Pt. II” – which explores the kissing disease and the institutional runaround of health care in America (unfortunately a familiar subject for the young man). And he pays tribute to old friends and outsized characters with “For Jonny” (dedicated to his longtime drummer Jonny Philip) and the heart-rending requiem “Dream.”
Having released his debut on SideOneDummy, Rangers & Valentines is being put out by London-based Xtra Mile Recordings. Hipped to Schoepp’s work by fellow singer-songwriter Frank Turner, among others, Xtra Mile honcho Charlie Caplowe quickly signed him to the label.
Schoepp – who’s already crisscrossed the country sharing stages with fellow travelers like The Wallflowers, The Jayhawks and The Old 97’s – will be back on the road throughout 2016 in support of Ranger & Valentines, starting with a 3-week run throughout the UK and Europe supporting Jesse Malin.
Like the album, it’ll be another opportunity to catch a young journeyman at work.
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$22 Standing Room Advance
$33 Reserved Day of Show
$48 Gold Circle Day of Show
$25 Standing Room Day of Show
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