The New Bohemians were one of the first of many Dallas-area artists who attended the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts (then referred to as Arts Magnet High School) as music students, and then went on to sign a major label recording deal shortly thereafter and ultimately perform all over the world.
Lead vocalist Edie Brickell was born right here in Oak Cliff, so this show represents a sort of homecoming for her. Lead guitarist Kenny Withrow is currently a guitar instructor at La Rondalla Oak Cliff, the local music academy directed by legendary Dallas jazz artist Dennis Gonzalez. Bassist Brad Houser, percussionist John Bush and original drummer Brandon Aly all currently live in the Austin area, and they too will be on board.
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. 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. 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. 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
Photo by Lon BIxby