Sam Llanas Announces Big New Album With "Little Song"

Sam Llanas may be a name you haven't heard in a while, but you certainly know his music. One of the founding members of the BoDeans, Llanas hasn't slowed down since the band's debut in 1986. If anything, he's had a change of direction. After 25 years of a storied career with the band, including being a part of U2’s celebrated Joshua Tree tour, singing on Robbie Robertson’s “Somewhere Down the Crazy River,” being voted best new band by the readers of Rolling Stone Magazine, and sharing the stage with such luminaries as David Bowie, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty it was time for a change.

Llanas left the band in 2011 and has been steadily releasing solo his solo albums since. In 2018, Llanas will release Return of the Goya – Part 1. The title refers to his beloved guitar that was stolen in 1987. The title also suggests a return for Llanas; this album both calls back to the BoDeans' tight harmonies and uptempo pop as his deepest roots. Most of the songs showcase his long love of classic country music (his earliest musical memory is hearing and being mesmerized by Hank Williams). These songs are a loving tribute to a style of music witnessing simple songs with strong melodies and harmonies telling stories that resonate in the heart.

The album's debut singe, "Little Song," shows Llanas at the top of his game. It's a simple tune with devastating lyrics. "'Little Song' is fictional but definitely based in fact," Llanas writes. "The song is set it Waukesha, Wisconsin, where I was born and raised (also the birthplace of Les Paul!) and details the story of a young man going to war in Afghanistan and struggling to return to a normal life upon returning home. The 'Little Song' is something that helps him cope both during and after the war. The Fox River, depicted in the song runs right through the middle of town; it's the heartbeat of Waukesha."

Return of the Goya -- Part I will be out on June 15th.

EDIT: It has recently come to my attention that Sam Llanas has been accused of molestation by the stepdaughter of BoDeans' co-found Kurt Neumann. I do not endorse Llanas' record. However, I am leaving the article up to ensure this information is spread as widely as possible.

The BoDeans were a band I wanted to like more than I did. They had some really catchy songs (Only Love to name one) and a whole lot of filler; felt their records were mostly uneven. Thought their high spots were Outside Looking In (Sammy sounded especially great on Say About Love) and Home. Their live record Joe Dirt Car is terrific. Sammy was a big part of that band. I more or less lost track of the BoDeans before he left and had a conflict the night he played here a year or two ago or I’d have gone. Next time. Glad you chose to review him, Rachel.

Sammy is a good one...I saw the BoDeans many times with Sammy and Kurt, but only once after Sammy left and the magic wasn't there for me anymore...I agree with Jack that every BD record had at least one great song but many of their records had a lot of filler, but live they were very good...Good review of the new record...thanks!

Yes! I feel like this song hits a strong chord -- I haven't had a chance to listen to the rest of the album yet but it feels a strong start :)

Had to laugh at the title...I had a Goya acoustic guitar many many years back...purchase in 1968 I think...handmade in Sweden...nice guitar...should've kept it...I traded mine at least, no one stole it...

and you are is just the song posted, and it is a good one...

For the record, the first 3 BoDeans records are quite good...Love/Sex/Hope/Dreams, Outside Looking In and Home...I'd argue for Home as the best...after that, it's a mixed bag at favorite BoDeans song is probably "Hurt By Love" on Blend, and it's the only great song on the record, the rest of it will put you to sleep...the first two Rounder records, Resolution, and Still (produced by T-Bone Burnett) are also excellent, nearly as good as their early output...the live record Jack 11.0 mentioned, "Joe Dirt Car", is excellent, as is a live record that Kurt and Sammy did with just Bukka White accompanying them...

Kurt was the rock star front man, but Sammy was the magic in the sound...glad he's still at it...


UPDATE: Llanas has been accused of molesting co-founder Kurt Neumann's step-daughter. Baby Robot Media, who passed the album information on to me, has cut ties with Llanas. I do not endorse him either.

First I have heard of that...thanks for passing that along...grim...

Sounds like the story broke last night/this morning