Brad Houser, the Texas-based musician who played bass in the longtime jam band Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, has died at age 62. The artist suffered a stroke on July 17th and passed away on the 24th.
“We want to say thank you to the many friends and family that have reached out in support of Brad and his wife Kiri. We love you all, and we are truly grateful,” the band said last week, revealing that Houser experienced a “major stroke” and was in the hospital in critical condition. A family friend has since confirmed to Culture Map Dallas that he was taken off life support on July 24th and died hours later.
Born on September 7th, 1960 in Dallas, Texas, John Bradley Houser founded New Bohemians in the early 1980s, originally playing vibraslap while Eric Presswood played guitar and Brandon Aly played drums. Edie Brickell joined as a singer in 1985. Later known as Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, the band’s 1988 debut album, Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars, housed the hit “What I Am.”
In addition to New Bohemians, Houser played in bands like Critters Buggin, The Dead Kenny Gs, and Diamond Boom, his project with his wife and former Ex-Girl bassist Kirilola Onokoro. He also contributed to Bass Musician magazine and created two basses with Reverend Guitars, including the “Basshouser.”
In recent years, Houser lived in Austin, where he worked as an instructor at the New School of Music, which offered free music classes to underserved communities. According to Brickell, he had also been working on New Bohemians music.
“Just spent 6 weeks playing and recording with my friends, New Bohemians,” the singer posted following Houser’s death. “It was our final day recording and Brad was about to take off for a gig when I said, ‘Aw, come on! One more jam, Brad. You start it.’ He nodded and played this great part and I started singing about him to him with the biggest smile on my face just having fun.”
Brickell continued, “I was celebrating his generosity to stay and play one last song with me. But I never thought it would be our final song together. Our band’s very last jam was a playful song about Brad. I loved him. He taught me a lot.”