Eugene Hideaway Bridges
Eugene is a nomadic musician living his life on the road. His home is wherever the next performance takes him, and every year this is from America through Europe, to Australia with many other stops in between.
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 AA 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 BB King Bassist, Big Joe Turner spotted him in Paris and offered him the position of guitarist and 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 Music 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 appeared regularly in The National Association of Rhythm & Blues DeeJay 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 on several tracks, led by Seth Kibel. Texan guitarist and friend Rocky Athas also joined him on two cuts.
After four CDs recorded with a full band, Eugene’s next self titled release Eugene Hideaway Bridges was recorded 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 on Drums, Eric King Bass, David Webb Keys, Seth Kibel Sax and Justine Miller on 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 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. Horns again led and arranged by long time collaborator and maestro Seth Kibel. David Webb on Keyboards, Hammond B3, Piano and Wurlitzer, Lloyd Maines on Pedal Steel, Eric Lollipop King on Bass Guitar, Calep Emphrey on Drums, Seth Kibel on Alto, Tenor, Baritone Saxophones and Flute, Shane Pitsch on Trumpet and Mark V Gonzales on Trombone.
Blues, Soul, Jump, Funk, Gospel, Rock and Beach Music all make Eugene’s 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 and Eugene was a triple 2012 Blues Music Award nominee in the following categories; Album of the Year for Rock And A Hard Place, Soul Blues Album for Rock And A Hard Place and Soul Blues Artist. The Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the highest accolade afforded to musicians and songwriters within blues music.
Turning fifty in 2013, Eugene wanted to put together an eclectic, retrospective collection of thirteen of his own songs and four covers in Roots & Vines. Moving from a traditional song learnt in church as a young child, to songs about his life, travel, lost loves and a treasured 1981 Datsun 720 truck Nelly Bell!
Eugene’s 2015 release Hold on a Little Bit Longer features a full horn section on several songs led by John Mills with Kevin Flatt on Trumpet and Jon Blondell Trombone. Bobby Baranowski is back on Drums, with Otto Williams, Bassist, who first played with Eugene 15 years ago. Australian Clayton Doley plays Hammond B3 & Piano. Guesting on the title song, playing slide guitar, is Micky Moody, better known for his time with Whitesnake.
Hold on a Little Bit Longer charted at #6 in The Living Blues Charts for September 2015. The Blues Foundation Memphis, TN nominated Hold on a Little Bit Longer for two 2016 Blues Music Awards in the Contemporary Blues Album & Contemporary Blues Male Artist categories.
In 2017 The US Jus’ Blues Music Foundation announced that Eugene Hideaway Bridges was to be their 2017 honoree for the Albert King Lifetime Award, “The Lucy Award”, for his outstanding contributions in continuing to keep the style of traditional Blues alive.
Inspired by this award and in memory of his bluesman father, Othineil Bridges Sr “Hideaway Slim” 1938 – 2015, Eugene has gone back to his roots. This is the music Eugene learnt as a child sitting on the front porch, where “Hideaway Slim” showed Eugene how to play the blues.
August 11th, 2017 – The Eugene Hideaway Bridges Band, Live in Tallahassee, one night, one take, at the historic Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee, Florida, USA.
Eugene Hideaway Bridges, ‘Live in Tallahassee’ – Released June 2018
Eugene Hideaway Bridges – Guitar & Vocals
David Webb – Piano / Organ
Kelpie McKenzie – Bass Guitar
Pat Manske – Drums
If you like your Blues music laced with Soul, Funk, Gospel and Rock and delivered with buckets of class and warmth, then Eugene should not be missed.