Edie Brickell and New Bohemians are an alternative rock band that formed in Dallas, Texas, United States in 1985. The band consists of Edie Brickell (vocals), Kenny Withrow (guitar), Brad Houser (bass), John Bush (percussion) and Brendan Aly (drums). Keyboardist Carter Albrecht joined the band in 1999 and remained with the band until his death in 2007. They are best known for the 1988 American Top 10 hit "What I Am".
Drummer Aly, guitarist Withrow, and percussionist Bush went to the same high school as singer Brickell in Dallas, Texas but didn't really know her then. According to Houser, Edie was there for art. (Spin magazine, March 1989 (Vol 4, Number 12). Houser attended Hillcrest High School (Dallas) and lived in the same neighborhood as the others. He played in various neighborhood bands like The Knobs which included Kenny, and was also a Munch Puppy.
The New Bohemians started as a 3 piece ska-style band in the early eighties, cutting their teeth in the new Deep Ellum neighborhood in downtown Dallas. The original line-up featured Brad Houser on bass, Eric Presswood on guitar, and Brandon Aly on drums.
The future core members joined in 1985. Edie became the singer after being encouraged to join the band onstage during a show (the famous Jack Daniels story). It was soon after that first show that local agent Deanna Mercer, who was at the time booking bands at Rick's Casablanca, was brought to hear the band. The band actually signed a 6 month management contract with Mercer which brought with it better paying gigs at Rick's. When the 6 months ended, the band wanted something more and hired Lon Bixby as the manager. They started regular gigging in Deep Ellum at this time (D Magazine Jan, 1989). Presswood left and Kenny Withrow took up the guitar duties, playing his first show in July, 1985 at the Starck Club in Dallas. John Bush joined on percussion in September of that year. His first show with the band was September 12, 1985 at Poor David's Pub in Dallas, when the band was backing Bo Diddley.
The New Bos were always a local favorite, packing in the fans at now infamous Deep Ellum venues such as Theater Gallery, 500 Cafe, and Club Dada. The Bohemians were also regular performers at the annual Fry Street Fair on the University of North Texas campus in Denton, Texas. During this period of the band's history, Edie's name was not used in the band's name. This was a strategy used by Geffen Records in the event the band didn't remain the same. They would always have Edie.
The New Bohemians have released compilations and a live album, and have recorded some new material in recent years, notably as a short-lived band named The Slip that included Brickell, but most former members have moved on to other projects. Drummer Matt Chamberlain has been an in-demand tour drummer with bands ranging from Pearl Jam and Garbage to Tori Amos and Fiona Apple, as well as a stint on the Saturday Night Live house band.
Edie is also married to Paul Simon, and the couple has three children.
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