Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges – Blues at The Blind Pig !
Fri 21 April at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
(perfect with locally created Jones & Smith Whisky)
You might probably imagine that having a successful blues-singing father would give a youngster an early start toward a career in music. But in Eugene’s case, that start was early enough to make his personal origin story hard to believe. Born in 1963, young Eugene was playing guitar in father’s band by 1968…. that’s right…. performing music at the age of FIVE years old !
( Of course, by then, he’d already had three years of guitar-picking experience under his belt. He’d receive his first guitar at two..)
Eugen’s father. Otherneil Bridges Sr (Known as Hideaway Slim) taught him a basic honky-tonk guitar-riff after noticing his son plucking away at toy box with rubber bands substituting as strings. When instructing Eugene he said, “Don’t stop till you hear that guitar sing.”
The fourth for five children, Eugene’s large New Orleans family influenced him from all imaginable directions. In addition to his father’s giant legacy, his brothers sang in a gospel group called the Bridges Brothers. And his musical lineage must have been helped by the fact that his mother was a distant relative of Anna Mae Bullock, later known as Tina Turner. As Hideaway Junior says, “My childhood was music.”
In his early teens, Eugene Bridges began singing with his brothers as a gospel group, The Bridges Brothers, and also formed his own R&B band, The Five Stars. At the age of 16 he moved to Texas to join the US Air Force, and played in an Air Force band for three years. After leaving the service, he joined a gospel group, The New Chosen, on guitar and vocals, and then joined the Mighty Clouds of Joy. He then moved to live in Houston, where he joined the police force and formed his own band, the Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges Band, and started touring in the US.
A chance encounter in Paris catapulted Eugene to the next big stage in his career. He met Big Joe Turner, bassist for B.B. King and was then offered a spot in Joe Turners Memphis Blues Caravan. From there he formed an outfit under his own name (the Eugene Hideaway Bridges Band) and signed with the Blueside label.
In both 1998 and 1999, he topped British and European blues magazine polls as best male vocalist. He released his first album, Born To Be Blue, produced by Mike Vernon, on the Blueside label in 1998. The following year he was signed by British blues label Armadillo, and he has released a series of albums for them starting with Man Without A Home (2000), and Jump the Joint (2003), which reached the US Living Blues charts and was nominated for awards.
He continued to tour internationally, and has developed followings through his performances across Europe and in Australia and New Zealand.His later albums have been Coming Home (2005), Eugene Hideaway Bridges (2007), Live In San Antonio (2009), and Rock and a Hard Place (2011), the last of which was recorded with a full horn section. He is described at Allmusic as “a vibrant and enthusiastic singer and guitarist… brings fire and intensity to contemporary blues, which he laces with hints of his gospel singing past.”
Eugene is currently on another jam-packed tour of Australia with appearances at numerous Blues & Roots festivals, several prestigious Blues Clubs, and of course.. here in Orange for your listening pleasure … and only at The Blind Pig !
… AND, if you feel fine Whisky goes well with Blues music, see our add-ons for two whisky varieties from Award winning local distillery, “Jones & Smith” !
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