Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges

Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges
Live In San Antonio

Armadillo Music

By Art Tipaldi
March 2010

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 Cooke’s 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 Turner's Memphis Blues Caravan, the band of B. B. King’s 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 Hughes 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.

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