Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
Edie Brickell was born in 1966 in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. She attended Southern Methodist University for a year and a half before mustering the courage in a bar one night in 1985 to get up on-stage with a local band, the New Bohemians. She joined the band and wrote songs over the next year as the band changed and evolved. They finally settled on the personnel of Brad Houser (bass), Kenny Withrow (guitar), and Matt Chamberlain (drums) before taking off for Rockfield Studios in Wales to record their debut album. That album, Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars, released by Geffen Records, revealed Brickell to be a songwriter with a unique perspective and a singer with an intimate, conversational style. The album was hailed by critics and became a massive hit, selling over a million copies and producing the Top Ten hit "What I Am."
After the disappointing performance of their follow-up album, Ghost of a Dog, the New Bohemians disbanded. Brickell married Paul Simon and the couple had a child. After several years of remaining artistically quiet, she released her first solo album in late summer 1994. While Picture Perfect Morning was pleasantly received, it wasn't a return to the million-selling heights of the New Bohemian zenith. This was fine with Brickell, who had burned out from the press attention and touring that followed Rubberbands' success, and was content to quietly issue the record while focusing on her and Simon's young son. Geffen naturally thought otherwise, but Brickell was resolute. She wouldn't return to recording until almost ten years later. In the interim, two greatest-hits packages appeared: Best Of on MCA International and Hip-O's Ultimate Collection from 2002. Of these, the latter was most comprehensive, drawing on material both with and without the Bohemians and featuring seven previously unreleased tracks.
Brickell finally hit restart on her solo career in 2003 with Volcano (Chery/Universal). Produced by Charlie Sexton, the LP explored some new stylistic avenues inside the familiar rootsy landscape, and showed off Brickell's newly acquired acoustic guitar skills. She supported the effort with the usual round of late-night TV appearances and a brief tour. In 2006, she reunited with some of the original members of the New Bohemians for Stranger Things, the first studio album from the group in almost 16 years. ~ William Ruhlmann