Edie Brickell takes her time
By Sarah Rodman
Friday, April 23, 2004
Edie Brickell claims she has motivation - all she needs is a little push to get her engine running.
``I have a nice sense of faith,'' she says on the phone from the New York home she shares with husband Paul Simon and their two children. ``I figure good stuff will happen, but I don't feel like rushing out there to make it happen. It will come to me when the time is right.''
The time was right in the late '80s, when the right number of cocktails provided the push. That liquid courage allowed the shy Texas girl to get onstage with a band called the New Bohemians and make a lovely - if short-lived - career melding singer-songwriter musings with jam-band sensibilities on the albums ``Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars'' and ``Ghost of a Dog.''
Then Brickell, who plays the WBOS-FM (92.9) EarthFest tomorrow, met and married Simon. The group disbanded and she turned her energies toward her family, recording only one solo album: 1994's ``Picture-Perfect Morning.''
Ten years later, Simon's drummer, Steve Gadd, prodded Brickell - who never stopped writing songs - back into the studio.
``He really put a fire underneath me,'' says Brickell. ``It was amazing. I'm so grateful to him.''
Her fans should be, too, since the result of that prodding is the graceful and winsome ``Volcano.'' The album, produced by Dylan guitarist Charlie Sexton, is intimate and spare, and highlights Brickell's dreamy vocals in pop, country and jazz settings that are a perfect soundtrack for a summer sunrise.
Initially, Brickell was nervous about touring, having some bad ``remember the '80s?'' experiences with the New Bohemians. But she's excited to play her new songs with her new band, including Simon's oldest son, Harper, on guitar.
The 37-year-old Brickell doesn't seek feedback from her Hall of Famer spouse, likening that concept to salting her food to his taste.
``Creatively, I have ideas that differ from his. I'm still trying very hard to master a simple song and to have clarity and a musical sensibility that is interesting and changing. He mastered that years ago. We're in a different place and I respect that. I don't kid myself to think that I could interest him musically right now.''
In fact, it wasn't even music that drew Brickell to Simon, she says. ``It was pure looks that brought us together. That smile and the sound of his voice.''