Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – “Hunter and the Dog Star”

Thirty Tigers, 2021

A very solid, lively return from the shadows for Edie Brickell.

It was Edie Brickell’s 55th birthday recently, so ‘Hunter And The Dog,’ her latest release with the New Bohemians, comes in quite timely. After a booming start back in the late eighties, Brickell slowly went into the shadows, even though the quality of her releases didn’t fade much.

Actually, Brickell practically had a 12-year hiatus that was broken only in 2018 with her previous release ‘Rocket,’ which didn’t cause much traction. So how do Brickell and her band fare these days and how do they fit into the Americana Scheme?

On the first ball, they fare very well, thank you. On  ‘Hunter And The Dog’ Brickell and the band go for a more agile, lively sound that borders somewhere with Tom Petty’s power-pop version of Americana. Maybe, to some, that doesn’t make sense when written down, but musically, on this release, on tracks like ‘I Don’t Know,’ for example, it certainly does. Throughout the album, both Brickell and the band are in quite a good form never missing a step.

While some of the tracks might not leave an impression on the first listen, Brickell’s combination of Petty and early Doobie Brothers sounds here quietly (or not so quietly?) keeps growing on the listener, no matter whether they will consider this as ‘pure’ Americana or not. But then, a question comes up, does it have to be pure anyway? And tracks like ‘Rough Beginnings’ here should really change their minds.


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