The Dallas-born singer, who turns 45 this month, became an overnight success with the release of her 1988 debut with the New Bohemians, which went double platinum thanks to the hit single “What I Am.” In 1992 she married Paul Simon and eventually put her career on part-time status to raise their three children. She reunited on occasion with the New Bohemians and has just released two long-in-the-works projects, a solo album, Edie Brickell (produced by Austin’s Charlie Sexton), and a non-Bohemians band effort with famed drummer Steve Gadd, The Gaddabouts.
How did you get started with the New Bohemians?
I was strangely shy, a long habit from being in day care, where you sit there, miserable, and see other kids pushing and biting each other. That was a huge drama I’ve been trying to get over ever since. Luckily a friend of mine was friends with the New Bohemians, and I met her at this little club where another band was playing. I wasn’t saying a word, and this girl I hardly knew set this drink in front of me and whispered in my ear, “You need to loosen up.” At the end of the night the Bohemians, who were in the audience, got up onstage to jam, and my friend asked if I could sit in with them. That’s how it began.
In 2003, after you released your solo album Volcano, you began the recordings that turned into your new solo album. Why did you begin recording so soon after releasing an album?
It dawned on me that I wasn’t really