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 (Cherry/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. Tragedy struck the band a year later when keyboardist Carter Albrecht was shot in the head and killed in a bizarre misunderstanding involving his neighbor. Two Brickell projects were released in 2011, an eponymous solo album (her third) and a collaboration with Steve Gadd, Pino Palladino, and Andy Fairweather Low called the Gaddabouts. Love Has Come for You, a collaboration with Steve Martin that featured her lyrics and singing over Martin's banjo-composed melodies, appeared in the spring of 2013. Reaching number one on Billboard's Top Bluegrass Albums chart, Love Has Come for You was a major success, landing a Grammy Award and spawning a tour -- documented on a 2014 live set -- and a sequel, So Familiar, which appeared in October 2015. Love Has Come for You also inspired Martin and Brickell to write a musical, the Walter Bobbie-directed Bright Star. Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina just after World War II, the show debuted in 2014, and in 2016 Ghostlight issued the Original Cast Recording. ~ William Ruhlmann