Born in 1963 in New Orleans and raised in Amite, Louisiana, the son of Otheneil Bridges Sr, also known as blues guitarist Hideaway Slim, Eugene is the fourth child of five. His mother was from the Bullock family (the same as Anna Mae Bullock better known as Tina Turner) and Eugene claims he got his guitar skills from the Bridges side and his voice from the Bullocks. At five he was already playing with his father around Louisiana; with his brothers as The Bridges Brothers he sang gospel and was the musician of his church touring with the Pastor, Elder A A Edwards. At thirteen Eugene was entering R&B talent shows and had formed his first R&B band The Five Stars.
Aged sixteen Eugene joined the Air Force, playing in the Air Force band for the next three years. On leaving the Air Force he joined The New Chosen on guitar and vocals and went on to play with The Mighty Clouds of Joy.
Following a move to Houston, Texas in the 1980’s Eugene released Blues, Gospel and R&B recordings by the three bands he was running at the time. These included the first line-up of the Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges Band. They toured the USA from coast to coast.
Eugene then travelled alone to Europe, where B B King Bassist, Big Joe Turner spotted him in Paris and offered him the position of Guitarist / Vocalist with Big Joe Turners Memphis Blues Caravan.
A year later Eugene left to work under his own name again and formed The Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges Band. Signed to the Blueside label, Eugene recorded Born to be Blue, produced by Mike Vernon. His live performances received rave reviews and Eugene was awarded UK's Blueprint magazine Vocalist of the Year. He also won The Trophees France Blues 99 Chanteur De L'Annee.
In 2000 Eugene signed to Armadillo and released his next CD, Man Without A Home, which got worldwide airplay. Eugene appeared, often headlining, at major festivals in the USA, all over Europe, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia; whipping up a storm wherever he went with his distinctive southern sound.
The 2003 release, Jump the Joint, reached Number 4 in the US Living Blues Charts, charting for three months. Eugene’s songs also appear regularly in The National Association of Rhythm & Blues DeeJays charts. He was nominated for three 2003 US Cammy Music Awards.
In September 2004 Eugene recorded his next CD, Coming Home, at The Zone Studio in Dripping Springs, Texas; using a full horn section, led by Seth Kibel, on several tracks. He also has Texan guitarist and friend Rocky Athas joining him on two cuts.
After four CDs recorded with a full band, for Eugene’s next self titled release, Eugene ‘Hideaway ‘ Bridges, he went into the studio with friends and fellow musicians met on the road. Lucky Oceans, co-founder of the Western Swing band Asleep at the Wheel, plays Pedal Steel on three tracks and Texan legend Ray Wylie Hubbard lays down some fine Slide Guitar on I Can’t Wait. This CD was nominate for two 2008 US Blues Music Awards.
March 2009 saw Eugene in San Antonio to fulfil his fans wishes for a Live CD. With the line up of Bobby Baranowski - Drums, Eric King - Bass, David Webb - Keys, Seth Kibel - Sax and Justine Miller – Trumpet, you have the real deal.
Live in San Antonio was nominated for two 2011 Blues Music Awards in the Soul Blues Album and Soul Blues Artist Categories.
January 2011 and Eugene is back in the Zone Studio, Dripping Springs, Texas with Pat Manske as Producer. Pat has previously produced both of Eugene’s Blues Music Award nominated albums.
The new CD ‘ROCK AND A HARD PLACE’ is Eugene and his big band. The horns again led and arranged by long time collaborator and maestro Seth Kibel. Joining Eugene are David Webb on Keyboards, Hammond B3, Piano & Wurlitzer; Lloyd Maines on Pedal Steel; Eric ‘Lollipop’ King on Bass Guitar; Calep Emphrey on Drums, Seth Kibel on Alto, Tenor, Baritone Saxophones & Flute; Shane Pitsch on Trumpet And Mark V Gonzales on Trombone.
Blues, Soul, Jump, Funk, Gospel, Rock and Beach music make Eugene’s latest CD an upbeat journey through all the musical influences that have made Eugene the seasoned and versatile performer we have today.
‘ROCK AND A HARD PLACE’ charted at No 4 in The Living Blues Radio Chart for July 2011.
Eugene Hideaway Bridges was a triple 2012 Blues Music Award nominee in the following categories:
En esta nueva entrega Eugene Bridges cuenta con un estupendo plantel de músicos y una producción extraordinaria a cargo de Pat Manske, lo que ha redundado en un resultado sobresaliente. Armadillo Music que es su compañía desde hace varios años, sigue apostando por este artista, que es un excelente cantante, prolífico y versátil compositor, adenás de un sobrio guitarrista. Aquí tenéis quince nuevas canciones que siguen la tónica dominante empleada en sus anteriores álbumes, es decir, una variada selección de temas de corte blues, gospel, rock, soul, funky, baladas… una fórmula que a Eugene le resulta productiva y que gusta a sus seguidores y, si todo esto funciona, pues adelante ¿no os parece?. Junto a Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges figuran un plantel de músicos de primera clase, David Webb a los teclados, Eric King al bajo y Calep Emphrey batería. Los arreglos de metal corren a cargo del saxofonista alto, tenor, barítono y flauta Seth Kibel, el resto de los vientos son Shane Pitsch trompeta y Mark V Gonzales trombón. Un disco altamente recomendable con el que disfrutareis irremediablemente. MUY BUENO.
For this new cd Eugene Bridges has recruited a great staff of musicians, together with an outstanding production by Pat Manske, which makes an excellent final result. Armadillo Music has been Eugene record company for several years, and they are still committed with this artist, who is an amazing singer, a prolific and versatile composer and restrained guitar player. Here come fifteen new songs that follow the same path of previous albums, that is to say, a wide selection of blues, gospel, rock, soul, funk, and ballad songs... a formula that is good for Eugene and his fans love so much so, if everything works well, go ahead, isn’t it?. Together with Eugene 'Hideaway' Bridges you will find a staff of top musicians, David Webb on keyboards, Eric King on bass and Calep Emphrey on drums. Horn arrangements come from alto, tenor, baritone sax and flute player Seth Kibel, the rest of the horn section are Shane Pitsch trumpet and Mark V Gonzales trombone. A highly recommended album you will certainly enjoy. GREAT.
Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges possess what everyone else wants, a voice. That voice has an originality that makes listeners ask, “Who’s singing?” Bridges’ assertive tenor sings with the soulful glide of Sam Cooke and the powerful restraint of B.B. King. As stated in his profile in BR 129, Bridges writes all his songs, so he lives the words he sings. And he understands how to blend this voice with Seth Kibel’s horn arrangements. Add in Bridges’ assertive guitar and you have one of the best records of 2011.
In a music world that bumps, grinds and revels in male macho posturing, it is refreshing to hear songs that celebrate love. The opening cut, “I Can Never Forget” shows off Bridges creamy, Cooke vocal approach in this painful exposure of heartbreak. The nostalgic mood accurately displays the album’s strengths, voice, lyrics, horns, and guitar. Beginning with a B.B. intro, “Baby I Like” finds Bridges smiling about liking the way his girl holds his hand. Delivered a la Jackie Wilson, Bridges tune reminds me of the soul on 1960’s radio, which offered serious instructions in how to respect your date. “Dance With You” finds Bridges recalling the moments of a relationship. More handholding on the beach leads to the hook, “I wanna dance with you for the rest of my life.” When his love leaves, Bridges reveals the heartbreak and pain everyone experiences when love walks out the door on “It Will Not Stop.” Near the end of the record, Bridges pledges more earnest love in “It Had To Be You.” In all, these are very different sentiments than what boom from today’s sub-woofer, sexting generation.
If you want hear Bridges’ blues, focus on his thrilling guitar work. It’s not hard to picture Bridges with his eyes closed pinpointing emotional riffs on his red Gibson. From the stinging, one note solo on “Baby I Like” to the hard edged rock of “It’s Gotta Be The Last Time” to the high-flyin’ Houston shuffle on “45 Jump” (think Gatemouth meets T-Bone) to the 12 bar blues of “Mom And Daddy’s Place” continually show off Bridges’ expansive guitar approach. Add in the CD closer, “B.B.,” Bridges’ from the heart gratitude to the King and this is an hour of American music every fan must own.
Amper vijf jaar oud trok de knaap samen met zijn muzikant/vader Hideaway Slim al door het Louisiana landschap. Hij zong zichzelf in slaap met de licks van zijn vader die in zijn hoofd nazinderden. Met zijn broers zong hij Gospel en op dertien jaar vormde de ‘little boy blue’ zijn eerste band, The Five Stars. Na een verplicht omwegje in het legerorkest ‘The Air Force Band’ begon hij gitaar te spelen in de ‘The Mighty Clouds of Joy’ band waarin hij ook de zanger was. Sindsdien zat hij niet meer stil, tourde en schreef en bracht regelmatig een nieuw album uit, waarin hij steeds vernieuwend voor de dag komt. Soul, jump, rock, gospel en blues vertolkt de ‘Man Without A Home’ - hij moest negen maal van school wisselen - met dezelfde flexibiliteit en naturel als zijn verre voorouders die van Staat naar Staat trokken in Amerika.
In Europa tourde hij met Big Joe Turner in diens Memphis Blues Caravan, maar zijn reizen voerden hem ook naar Singapore en Australië. Voor de opname van dit zevende album trok Eugene naar de Zone Studio, Dripping Springs in Texas, met als producer opnieuw Pat Manske. De band die hem begeleidt bestaat uit een select clubje van de beste muzikanten met Seth Kibel op kop die het arrangement van de hoornpartijen op zich nam en zelf alt-, tenor- en baritonsax speelt. Met Shane Pitsch op trompet en Mark V Gonzales op Trombone wordt Eugene Bridges, die zelf gitaar speelt, dus luisterrijk omringd, dezelfde hoornsectie die ook al op het ‘Coming Home’ album present was.
Met zijn soulstem die soms aan Sam Cooke herinnert - ‘I Can Never Forget’, ‘Baby I Like’ en ‘It Had To Be You’ - geeft hij glans, kracht of emotie aan zijn songs, die hij allemaal zelf schreef. Eric ‘Lollipop’ King’s basgitaar en drummer Calep Emphrey geven aan ‘It’s Gotta Be The Last Time’ een donkere groove en ‘It Will Not Stop’ met krachtige beat en backing zang klinkt dan weer zegevierend. Het romantische ‘Dance With You’ is een echte zomersong als een zee- of strandtafereel nagloeiend bij zonsondergang. Mijn voorlopige favoriet ‘I’m Holding You’ komt over als een vreugde-uitbarsting en ‘45 Jump’ nog meer. En het laatste ‘BB’ schreef Eugene Bridges als een ode aan BB King die hem o.m. de swing van muziek leerde.
Op dit album beperkt Eugene Bridges zich niet tot één bluesstijl, maar varieert met swing, soul, Mississippi Southern blues en ‘beach’ blues dat hij zelfs vermengt met een vleugje country en wat funk op een jazzy bedje. Alhoewel een studioalbum brengt dit album de aanstekelijke Live concerten van Bridges in herinnering die al menigmaal op een Belgisch podium stond. Al voelt hij zich in alle landen ‘een passant’ en groeien er songs in zijn hoofd wanneer hij onderweg observeert toch zijn het de eigen emoties die een uitweg zoeken in zijn ‘down home’ blues, zodat de ‘Eugene Bridges’ sound toch zijn ankerpunt is van waaruit hij vertrekt en steeds weerkeert. Sfeervol album en ‘great sax’ ! close
This live recording shows Eugene Hideaway Bridges to be an underrated musician. His band ain’t too shabby either, especially Justine M. Miller and Seth Kibel on horns. Rounding out this talented bunch are keyboardist David Webb, bassist Eric “Lollipop” King, and Bobby Baranowski on drums. Pat Manske sits in on bongos for one track. In total there are fifteen tracks, thirteen of which were authored by Bridges.
The opening cut, “I Got the Blues,” gets the party started when Bridges states, “This is how I deal with the blues.” The band shifts from a boiling introductory mode into a rollicking jumping swing performed at high-powered speed. Webb broils on B3-like keys, then hands it back to Bridges for a powerful vocal and speedy yet tasteful guitar solo.
No stopping these guys. Up next is “Woke Up This Morning,” which keeps the jump-blues rolling with a nice and somewhat lengthy guitar introductory solo by Bridges and company. Off to the races they fly mostly powered by Bridges and bassist King as the horns continue to wail and prevail.
There are two Sam Cooke covers: “Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day” and “Movin’ and a Groovin’.” The latter was co-written by Lou Rawls. Cooke and Rawls sang together in a gospel group Teenage Kings of Harmony. How hip must that have been? Anyway “Movin’ and a Groovin” is old-school soul done in a divine groove.
Six other Bridges tunes stand out, including his roaring “Won’t Be Your Fool.” which is more pedal-to-the-metal jump aided by Webb’s keys and Bridges’ high flying guitar solos. The James Brown-like “I Know That You Love Me” is party-time funk with JB-styled horn fills nicely done, especially when the two horns solo, plus all of the band members take solos on this one. Bridges’ “I Found It” could have been written by Sam Cooke and is downright sweet. “How Can I Win” is a neat soul-funk that offers progressive and funky guitar comps from Bridges guitar and is another solid inclusion. Another tip of the hat goes to Sam Cooke on Bridges’ “You’re the One,” with a nice sax solo from Kibel. Concluding this fine recording is a jumping romp appropriately titled “Jump the Joint” that once again serves notice as to why Bridges deserves to be better known.
This CD is recommended listening. Bridges is well worth your time and investment of your hard-earned dollars, and this LP is well recorded, captured raw and live. I’ve never seen Bridges and his band perform, but judging from this recording he deserves to be added everyone’s wish list of musicians to be seen live and appreciated for his multi-talents. See you there!
After producing several fine studio sets over the last decade, here comes Eugene with a hot live set recorded at Chango’s Havana Club in San Antonio, Texas. Throughout, he is accompanied by a tight quintet that includes trumpet and tenor sax.
Despite the familiar looking titles, most of this album is made up of songs written by Bridges, and he has enough talent and know-how to crank them out without any suggestion of self indulgence. He is a nice fluent guitarist and he also has a good soulful voice. This combination of instrumental and vocal prowess gives him the potential to perform in a wide range of styles. This is an excellent set where he performs tough modern guitar blues of the highest calibre, and then dips into a couple of Sam Cooke songs that he performs very nicely and they are immediately recognisable as that.
When I first saw this set, I was slightly suspicious of the comic book style cover illustration and I can’t detect any particular reason for it. Well, whatever apprehensions I had were quickly dispelled. I have enjoyed this a lot over the last few weeks and it’s a marvellous little album that offers a decent hour’s worth of solid music, and if you weren’t at Chango’s on the night, here’s your chance to hear what you missed. Should’ve been there!
Think of Eugene Hideaway Bridges as a combination of a young and powerful B.B. King meets the soulful Sam Cooke. When Bridges lives the blues, his voice and Gibson awaken memories of B.B. King circa his Live at the Regal days. When Bridges mixes soul into his set, his warm tenor calls to mind an era when Cookes music was the soundtrack to our days. Bridges owns real blues genetics. Born in Louisiana in 1963 to a blues guitar father and a mother whose family has ties to Tina Turner, Bridges moved to Houston and began playing his own guitar in the local churches by the age of five. Since then, his musical life has taken him around the world. Whether he’s fronted his own bands or played guitar in Big Joe Turners Memphis Blues Caravan, the band of B. B. Kings bassist, Bridges has miles of hard road time under his belt.
Bridges' musical philosophy is grounded in his recording and playing his original tunes. On this night in Chango’s Havana Club, Bridges played thirteen originals from his massive songbook. Opening the night with 'I Got The Blues,' Bridges as the cotton field preacher delivers his sermon on the healing power of this music. Musically his King-styled guitar vibrato bounces through many of Texas’ blues guitar styles. Big horns lead into the big city-styled shuffle of 'Woke Up This Morning.' Like King, Bridges know to make a guitar statement and then let his tenor and trumpet answer. On 'Little Boy Blue,' Bridges' funky guitar phrasing and attack is somewhat reminiscent of Son Seals' stinging guitar work.
When Bridges croons 'Learn How To Let You Go,' it’s with the sweet soul nuances of Cooke. From horns to velvety voice to twisting guitar bends, this tune has everything we love about soul. Want more 1960s soul? Then listen to his nostalgic covers of Cooke’s 'Roam Wasn’t Built In A Day' and 'Movin’ and A Groovin’,' both songs coming from Cooke’s SAR records catalogue.
The catchiest tune here might be 'Real Hero.' Performed with a hook loosely cut from Muddy’s 'Mannish Boy,' Bridges offers his respect to the everyday moms and dads who he sees as real heroes in this complicated world. The record and night end with 'How Can I Win' and 'You’re The One,' two more crackling R&B tunes, and 'Jump The Joint,' a 1940s styled a high-octaned, free-for-all where dancers are spinnin’ and gyratin’ in zoot suits and tight waisted skirts. I recently saw Bridges live and this record is the perfect way to recall that night’s excitement.
It must have been sweet to hear young Eugene Bridges sing hymns with his brothers in a rural Louisiana church. Bridges’ honeyed, crystal-clear voice dazzles from the first moments of 'Piece of the Mountain,' the joyful tune that kicks off his self-titled fifth album. Bridges wrote every song here, and each is deeply felt by both artist and audience. Fortitude and happiness abound; the gospel music he sang as a child is still an integral part of Bridges’ style. And if beautifully articulated soul isn’t enough, the man also plays a mean guitar. His exquisite picking and crisp tones are riveting, and his guitar work conveys the same contentment that shines in his voice.
Bridges’ dad, blues guitarist Hideaway Slim, gave his son these gifts, and the bloodline that runs from bridges’ mother to Tina Turner surely helped, too. A Texan since moving to the Lone Star State to join the Air Force at age 16, this strikingly approachable bluesman is now mid-40’s and is clearly hitting his stride. His new album is a stripped-down affair compared to his previous discs, and he sparkles throughout, whether playing solo or dueting with Asleep at the Wheel’s pedal-steel guitarist Lucky Oceans or Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard. A few gritty numbers do appear – the boot-to-the-wood Delta blues 'Ain’t Got Time' is one – but Bridges’ sublime, Wes Montgomery-styled guitar drives the disc to its highest ground on 'Love’s Got the Best of Me.' Those who enjoy the new-blood blues of Fruteland Jackson and Eric Bibb, as well as fans of elder statesmen such as Taj Mahal, will find it impossible to pass on this album.
This is an eagerly anticipated album from Eugene Bridges and it is well worth the wait. Eugene has written all of the songs and the album is stripped down compared to previous albums. Eugene sings all of the exquisite vocals, including harmonies, and plays guitar, adds foot stomps and plays bass on one track. “Never Alone” is a cappella with Eugene accompanying himself by signing the bass parts and the close harmony backing vocals and providing hand claps. Awesome!
Several tracks are distinctly Sam Cooke in flavour, Eugene having inherited Sam’s vocal cords. Having wonderful voice means that Eugene can really handle the slow and soulful numbers. The melancholy and beautiful “Look At Me Now” starts off somewhat like Buddy Johnson’s “Since I Fell For You”.
Eugene has assistance from bass player and long time band member Robin Clayton on “Piece of the Mountain”. Lucky Oceans contributes pedal steel on the laid back “Life Has No Meaning”, “Baby Your Love” and “In Your Arms Tonight”. Clayton Doley plays Hammond organ on “Love’s got the Best of Me” and “Man And His Guitar”. Ian Moss adds a guitar solo to “Special Friend” and Ray Wylie Hubbard plays slide on “I Can’t Wait”. Co-producer Pat Manske provides some percussion on “Look At Me Now” and Declan Kelly hand claps on “Big Legged Woman”.
The tracks were recorded in London, Australia, Texas and Singapore, by plethora of engineers. They were then mixed by Pat Manske at The Zone, in Dripping Springs Texas and the album was mastered by Dallas Simpson at Dallas Masters in Nottingham. A good job was done by all.
Eugene spends much of his time in Australia and Europe and his career is taking off in America now. ‘Bout time! Make sure you see him should the opportunity arise.
Stand out tracks? There are twelve of them. This is a joy to listen to! Buy it!
Recorded partly in Singapore, London and Texas, Eugene Hideaway Bridges does a superb job of capturing where this singer, guitarist and writer is at the moment. There're some interesting choices of instrumentation and personnel that marks a change from Bridges using his road band in the recording studio. Lucky Oceans, who leads Western Swing band, Asleep At The Wheel, plays pedal steel on three tracks whilst, more conventionally, Ray Wylie Hubbard lays down some slide guitar on 'I Can't wait'.
The whole thing works perfectly. There's plenty of hand-clapping, in keeping with his background as a church singer, but what shines throughout is the quality of Bridges' superb voice. It's a voice made in heaven, soaking these songs in large drips of soulful richness. 'In Your Arms Tonight' has a real Sam Cooke feel and, as we move on to the following track 'Look At Me Now', country merges with soul and gospel on a heart felt ballad recalling Otis Redding.
This consummate young artist simply gets better and better. 'Special Friend' is a cracking rocker sung quite beautifully, with sizzling guitar adding emphasis. 'Never Alone' is sung minus the instrumental backing and demonstrates, once again, that here we have one of the finest voices around - and one that deserves wider recognition. The decision to concentrate on getting the production right has paid off on this excellent release - a candidate for original blues album of the year.
De muziek van Eugene Bridges vormt de ontbrekende schakel tussen soul en country. Vroeger had je de zwarte countryzanger Charlie Pride, maar Bridges maakt geen echte country, maar ook geen echte soul. Hij fuseert de twee muziekstijlen gewoon, en wel op zo'n natuurlijke manier dat je je afvraagt waarom niemand het ooit eerder deed.
Bridges doet in zijn soulvolle zang denken aan mannen als Sam Cooke en Don Covay (luister maar eens naar het fantastische Special Friend), terwijl de arrangementen helemaal rond zijn gitaarspel zijn opgebouwd, met heel af en toe een beetje percussie, regelmatig een pedal steel, een hammondorgel en een enkele gastgitarist (met onder meer een pracht van een slidegitaarsolo van Ray Wylie Hubbard). Een drummer heeft Bridges niet nodig - met voetgestomp en handgeklap weet hij een uitstekende, uitermate swingende basis te leggen. De twaalf ijzersterke nummers op zijn album Hideaway heeft Bridges zelf geschreven, en hij laat horen dat hij behoorlijk veelzijdig is, en dat hij vooral ook prachtige ballads kan schrijven. En dat hij ze zelf dan ook nog eens zo bevlogen en overtuigend kan zingen is mooi meegenomen. En had ik al gezegd dat hij ook een zeer begenadigd gitarist is?
De muziek van Bridges wordt vaak aangeduid als blues, en daar zit ook veel in, maar zijn muziek is toch net iets te gelaagd en te veelzijdig om hem onder dat etiket weg te bergen. Een absolute aanrader.
That is certainly the case here, as Texas out of Louisiana singer/ guitarist Eugene goes for a minimalist approach. He sets out his stall on the first number, Gospel inflected in arrangement and words, sounding a lot like Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers until the bridge when a BB King styled guitar adds to the instrumentation and the effect – wonderful. This is followed by an achingly beautiful love song – though again this could easily be a gospel lyric – which could be classed as country-soul, out and out country, or a singer/ songwriter number. Eugene’s guitar is supplemented by the pedal steel playing of Lucky Oceans, who appears on a further two titles, to maximum effect.
… And so the album continues, with Eugene’s wistful vocals frequently recalling that fragile beauty of Sam Cooke’s voice/ There is a hint of ‘People Get Ready’ in ‘Special Friend’, excellent early sixties Rhythm & Blues on ‘In Your Arms Tonight’… then from track 8, ‘Ain’t Got Time’ the blues content suddenly increases – try particularly the vintage BB King sound of ‘Love Got The Best Of Me’, just Eugene with Clayton Doley on Hammond.
This is a marvellous set for anyone who appreciates the sound of sixties rhythm & blues and soul served up with a side dish of top-notch blues. Thanks Eugene, thanks Armadllo.
Ever since I've received Eugene’s first CD released by Armadillo he has a fan in me. In the world full of guitar pyrotechnics a’ la Stevie Ray Vaughan he is not only a guitarist with exemplary taste playing with grace and dignity of BB King but he is also one of the best soul singers around, with his voice being tender and emotional without falling in cliché. There is only one Eugene and blues fans should be very happy to have him working so hard. The “blue” CD spotlights his vocals more than all of his previous albums and I like that idea so much. The setting is intimate and songs are beautiful. Bridges has released another superb album, no doubt about that.
Ritorna Eugene Bridges con un album essenziale, dai toni intimistici e crepuscolari; dopo quattro lavori licenziati in compagnia dei timbri e decibel elevati della band elettrica, Bridges in questa uscita sceglie ensemble minimali, ospiti incisivi (Lucky Oceans alla pedal steel guitar, Ian Moss alla chiatarra elettrica, Ray Wylie Hubbard alla slide e Clayton Doley all'organo Hammond), scelta del tutto centrata, dato che la semplificazione operata mette in pieno risalto le sue enormi potenzialità espressive e vocali; registrato in diverse occasioni, Singapore, Australia, Inghilterra, mixato negli USA, questo lavoro riflette compiutamente il lato nomadico di Bridges, musicista costantemente 'on the road', (atteggiamento ereditato dal padre 'Hideway Slim', altro nomade del blues) anche nella naturale capacità di assorbire le varie sfumature, ora bianche ora nere, della musica afro-americana. L'album offre 12 tracce elettroacustiche, tutte composizioni originali di Bridges, con sfumature gospel l'iniziale 'Piece of Mountain', soul 'Never alone', country-swing 'In your arms tonight', soul-ballad 'Look at me now', blues 'Ain't got time', 'Love's got the best of me', e swing nella traccia finale 'Man and his guitar'. Forse nato per caso, questo lavoro rivela un nuovo lato espressivo di Eugene Bridges, più vicino all'estetica di musicisti come Keb' Mo, che a noi soddisfa ancora di piu' di quello potente e 'muscolare' precedente.
Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges “Coming Home”. Armadillo 2005. Obra maestra del fabuloso cantante y guitarrista Eugene Bridges, un auténtico nómada de la música allí donde los haya. En los últimos años Eugene se ha dedicado a viajar por Europa, America y Australia llevando su casa a cuestas y sus ‘blues’ originarios de Texas. En este último trabajo para el sello Armadillo, nuestro hombre nos muestra de nuevo su firme y arrogante voz con destreza y su vena de compositor no tiene desperdicio y supera entregas anteriores. Doce canciones densas y llenas de fuerza pero sin perder ni un ápice de los limpios matices con los que desarrolla cada una de sus canciones. Los arreglos y ‘solos’ de guitarra, tanto con la Gibson ES 335 o la Telecaster en ‘In Your Arms Tonight’ son verdaderas joyas que fácilmente llegan a emocionar a cualquier corazón con un mínimo de sensibilidad. MUY BUENO.
Masterpiece of amazing singer and guitar player Eugene Bridges, a genuine music nomad, as he has spent the last years travelling all over Europe, America and Australia with his home and his Texas blues on the shoulders. In this last piece of work for Armadillo Records, Eugene tastefully shows again his powerful imposing voice. His songwriter abilities are really impressing and exceed his previous works. Twelve weighty strong songs, but at the same time full of cool delightful nuances. Arrangements and guitar solos with his Gibson ES 335 or Telecaster in “In Your Arms Tonight” are real treasures that easily will move people with some sensibility in their hearts. GREAT.
This first song on Coming Home is just wonderful. For a Blues lover who pops in a CD for the first time and wonders if it's going to be a winner, here is an artist you may not have previously heard, absolutely nailing it on the upbeat dance-starter "I'm Going Back." What enthusiast could argue with lyrics about hope for a regained love, sung with a confident voice as clear as the guitar playing, to a 12-bar Jimmy Reed Blues shuffle?
Eugene Bridges was born in 1963, the fourth child of five and the son of Louisiana guitarist Slim Hideaway Bridges. At five he was already playing with his father around Louisiana. His mother was from the Bullock family (the same as Anna Mae Bullock, better known as Tina Turner), and Eugene claims he got his guitar skills from the Bridges side and his instantly appealing voice from the Bullocks.
With his brothers, as The Bridges Brothers, he sang Gospel and toured with the Pastor Elder A. A Edwards. At thirteen Eugene was entering R&B talent shows and had formed his first R&B band, The Five Stars.
He joined the Air Force in Texas at 16 and joined their band. After leaving the Air Force he played and sang with Gospel bands, but soon formed the Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges Band, touring all over the U.S.
Taking it to Europe, Eugene toured Belgium, France, and Spain, and after meeting B.B. King bassist Big Joe Turner, he was offered a spot as featured artist with the Memphis Blues Caravan. He later reformed his own band and was elected Best Male Vocalist in 1998 and 1999 in British Blues Connection's yearly poll.
Eugene has been touring Europe for the past five years. He is a nomadic musician and every year barnstorms from America through Europe to Australia, with many other stops on the way.
In 2000 Eugene signed to Armadillo and released his next CD, Man Without A Home, which was played worldwide, and he appeared at festivals in the U.S., all over Europe, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia.
His 2003 release, Jump the Joint, reached #4 in the U.S. Living Blues Chart, remaining in the chart for three months. Eugene's songs also appear regularly in The National Association of Rhythm & Blues DeeJays charts.
Released this year, 2005, Coming Home was recorded in September 2004 at The Zone Studio in Dripping Springs, near Austin, Texas, using a full horn section led by Seth Kibel on several tracks. He also has Texan guitarist and friend Rocky Athas joining him on two cuts.
While the aforementioned first song is a killer 12-bar Blues, the second song changes gears to an up-tempo Soul number, "Giving Up On Love." It's a full studio production with a big layer of horns behind a conga-driven beat, vocal harmonies, and driving lead guitar.
On the third track, "In Your Arms Tonight," Bridges brings a trippy twist to the classic waltz beat in this sweet, medium-paced serenade. Acoustic and electric guitar flow together in harmony alongside soft, understated organ and Eugene's effervescent singing. The late Luther Vandross would certainly tip his hat to "Hideaway" after he heard this gem. It contains a clever pair of lines: "I boarded the 747 that would take me to the other side of the world/I was lookin' for a treasure/something special in the shape of a girl!"
"Comin' Home" is another first rate shuffle. Here, Eugene celebrates being back in the U.S. after a successful European Blues tour. He gleefully reminisces about a concert he played in London with one of the most illustrious living Bluesmen of all time, B.B. King. It's definitely a danceable little number with a beat kept tight by regular band mates Bobby Baranowski on drums and Guthrie Kennard on bass.
In an age where many people think of sports stars and celebrities when they think about heroes, in "Real Hero" Bridges has the guts to salute a different, more unsung kind. "This song is dedicated to men and women everywhere I go," Bridges croons modestly to diligent employees. "Workin' that 9 to 5 -- I believe you're the real hero." He runs the observational gamut in the course of this song, saluting a single mother working two jobs to make ends meet at the beginning of the song. He warns indulgent people near the end, "You can't stay out late when you're working for The Man/living above your means in a high-cost plan/You can't spend all your money on all those Pauli girls when you only have two dollars livin' in a ten-dollar world!"
Overall Impression: Some Blues artists tend to specialize in one musical area over another in their songs, good guitar over good vocals being the most common. However, Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges is a Blues "youngster" at 42 who's got it all: a winning smile, enthusiastic energy, fine musicianship, and a rich, full-bodied voice.
After the release of his stripped-down, largely low-key self-titled album in 2007, followed by a live album in 2009, Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges is back with a powerful and irresistible album, Rock and a Hard Place. Bridges and his nine-piece band rock the house with a set of self-penned songs noted for their musical diversity and horn-driven upbeat optimism. While the lyrics are largely rooted in themes of betrayal and loss, the music is literally a joy to listen to.
By: Stephen A. King read more
Although Bridges decries the nation’s political troubles in How Long, the majority of the songs rarely stray from standard blues subject matter: male and female relationships. In I Can Never Forget and It’s Gonna Be the Last Time, women are described as destructive tormentors and deceptive divas. Alternatively, women provide the singer with some modicum of security, joy, and peace (Baby I Like, It Had to Be You). Ultimately, it appears the singer is really caught between a “rock and a hard place—love and loneliness”.
Ultimately, what drives Rock and a Hard Place is the music, recorded in Austin, Texas. Producer and engineer Pat Manske found the magical musical “sweet spot” between raw and slick, low-fi and overproduced. Anchored by bassist Eric “Lollipop” King and former B.B. King drummer Calep Emphrey, the band sounds energetic and inspired. Many songs are graced by tasteful horn arrangements (Seth Kibel) that serve to drive the music to blissful heights. And Bridges is in total command of his skills: his guitar lines are clear and economical, his voice a wonder. His vocal dexterity and phrasing are something to behold. At times, he sounds like a smooth Motown singer and other times he takes on the persona of an anguished blues singer. Easily bridging and blurring musical genres, Bridges’ music reflects his influences: soul, blues, funk, country, and rock ’n’ roll.
While offering a diverse musical platter, Rock and a Hard Place is neither incoherent nor inconsistent. At the conclusion of the album, for example, the transition between soul (It Had to Be You), country ( Long Way from Texas), and blues (Won’t Let Me Go) is nearly seamless. And one would expect an album with 15 songs clocking in at 57 minutes to contain filler, but there is not a weak song on the album.
On the final cut, BB, Bridges pays homage to one of his major influences, B. B. King. Characterizing King as an “old school” teacher “without a classroom,” Bridges praises King for teaching him how to make a statement “like an honest politician should do” and create music that “swings . . . even when I’m sad and blue.” In the song, Bridges repeatedly praises the “King of the Blues”: “B. B., let me show my appreciation for all the joy you bring.” In turn, listeners will certainly appreciate all the joy Bridges brings to Rock and a Hard Place.
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