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The Rock-itt : March 2012
As they say, it’s always a big month at Lizotte’s when it comes to top class entertainment and this month is no exception. Eugene Hideaway Bridges has blues blood flowing through his veins and coming from a family that has lived the Blues every day of their lives, it is no wonder that Eugene knows no other way to live it. His daddy was a blues guitarist and I’ve no doubt that Eugene’s offspring will play the blues just as their daddy does and so history repeats itself time after time flowing from the roots to the present day. But The Blues isn’t just music, it’s a way of life and that’s exactly what Eugene does, lives for the Blues. So let’s take a look at the m an that you will hear and see on stage at Lizotte’s this month, let’s walk som e miles in his shoes to try and find how and why it all began and why he lives and breathes the sound that feeds his eternal spirit every day of his life. Eugene is a nom adic musician living his life on the road. His home is wherever the next performance takes him, and every year this is from Am erica through Europe, to Australia with many other stops in between. Born in 1963, son of the 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. Eugene moved to Texas to join the Air Force at sixteen, playing in the Air Force band for the next three years. On leaving 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, Eugene rel eased 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 W ithout A Home, which got worldwide airplay. The 2003 release, Jump the Joint, reached Number 4 in the US Living Blues Charts, charting for three months. 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 to produce a CD that was nominated 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 lineup 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 has now been nominated for a 2011 Blues Music Award in the Soul Blues Album Category and Eugene has also been nominated for Soul Blues Artist. 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. Anywhere the wind blows is where Eugene’s next gig will be, because this Nomadic, free spirit lives it the way he wants to live it and that’s just playing and singing the Blues man. With Pete Johnson