Do you remember your first music concert? The memory is a bit like the feeling you experienced from the rush of your first infatuation … that delightful, dreamy feeling you never wanted to end and it always holds a special place in your heart leaving a mark on it forever. My first concert was Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. Edie was my first musical love.
I was fifteen and wearing the coolest outfit I had in 1989 (jeans my mother didn’t care for because they had a hole somewhere they shouldn’t have and lots of hippy jewelry). My parents took my friend and I and I’ll never forget that it was everything I thought it would be…my kind of scene and total definition of cool!
I have very clear memories of the songs that were played, where we were standing in the Bronco Bowl theatre and what the stage looked like, how Edie would stand balancing with one leg crossed, what she talked about before she played the next song. But mostly, I remember that unforgettable feeling that I would always love her music and it fit me personally (it still fits me today). It’s amazing how we can be influenced and shaped by the music we listen to.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend many different kinds of concerts…but to this day when I leave a concert and feel that high from a musical buzz, the smell the smoke in my clothes and hair, and hear that ringing in my ears I think of Edie Brickell. We all have a musical artist that defines us; the one who we listen to when we’re sad or happy because it’s comforting to sing along with the words you know by heart.
Surely you have a favorite Edie Brickell song; What I Am and Circle were the two most popular. For me, my favorite depends on my mood. She sings with many emotions… happy, melancholy, and deep. I’m very fond of her version of Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall that was featured in the movie Born on the Fourth of July.
Edie Brickell is a native Texan who grew up in Oak Cliff, went to high school at Booker T. Washington, and attended SMU for a while. I remember reading that after a few shots of tequila she made the decision to get up on stage with the New Bohemians. You can tell from the way she stands that she’s shy and awkward, but I always found this to be an endearing quality. With eight albums: Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars (1988), Ghost of a Dog (1990), Picture Perfect Morning (1994), Volcano (2003), Stranger Things(2006), The Heavy Circles (2008), and most recently her third solo album titled Edie Brickell, and her new band The Gaddabouts (2010), she has managed to stay relevant. In between her musical career she’s had three children and lives in New York with husband singer/songwriter Paul Simon who she met on the set of Saturday Night Live in 1992.
Edie has a very distinct musical style that’s laidback, cool, refreshing, and very Texas. She has an easy to feel energy and groove that makes you feel like you are listening to her live even if you’re not.
I’ve always thought if I could sing I would want a voice mixed and married with the soft folkie sound of Karen Carpenter, the natural musicality of Linda Ronstadt, and the punchy rock of Heart’s Ann Wilson…you know what? That voice might just be Edie Brickell’s! The beauty of Brickell’s voice is that it’s not perfect, it’s real. I think her new album, Edie Brickell is simply titled for that very reason. Do you have some musical memories that transport you back in time?