As both a world traveller and citizen, Eugene draws inspiration for his music from the places he visits. He is the quintessential performer, who is able to treat his audiences to a smorgasbord of every musical genre.
You have toured Australia before. Are you going to be doing new material?
I will be doing some of the old material also. Since I have been here, I have recorded a live album that was combined from my Born to be Blue album all the way up to the last one before that, which was the Eugene Hideaway Bridges self titled album. January this year marks 45 years of playing guitar and we have a brand new album we recorded in Texas, that is being mixed as we speak. It’s not available though, until the end of April.
However, I will be doing songs from that particular album as well as a lot of things that are derived from when I first started Hideaway Slim with my dad. All the way up to my Gospel and Hip Hop days and a bit of everything from the Blues to travelling across the world. There will be a combination of all of that in the same show.
Are you based out of the States?
I’m based out of Houston, Texas; but the thing is, I’m just like a truck driver or a pilot – the job takes me away from my house. My job since I was 4-years-old is to take my music around the world. The house is there, but the music is with me wherever I go.
What do you love about visiting and performing in Australia?
I want to clear this up … when I’m in Australia, I also travel to different parts of the Southern Hemisphere, from China and Eastern Europe all the way down to Fiji, New Zealand, one side of Australia to the other. Every place is fantastic. Sydney has always been my favourite city in the world – since 1999, when I first got here. There’s just something about that place that I have fallen in love with. Every place I’ve gone to even before I arrived in Sydney or Australia, it’s pretty much the energy of the people that I loved.
Australia has a strong following and strong friends and has a closeness with the music. I never return to a place that doesn’t show that love of the music.
It sounds like a pretty intense tour. Generally how long are you on the road touring?
I do about 300 days a year travelling world wide. Even when I’m on vacation in a place like Wyoming or over in Shanghai or Fiji, where I chill out for a couple of days and then head to where I have to be to perform.
On my days off it’s never about returning home. I never felt like one place is a home depot. I will never really have a home while I’m still touring.
Do you find a lot of inspiration from all the countries you travel to?
I observe what’s going on in these countries and I tell a story that I feel the people can relate to, but through my words. If I sing a song about falling in love, I’m not necessarily talking about myself falling in love, but there will be someone out there in that audience who has fallen in love. It makes the audience feel connected, and that is what makes my shows so good. I have never done a bad show in the 45 years of playing music. Never have I done a bad show.
I tried to look back at some mistakes I could have made, but there has never ever been a bad show that I have done. My biggest fear is one day I might lose it and might not be able to deliver. I have to live up to that track record. I have to break my own record every time I go on stage.
Tell us about your travelling entourage?
I normally have a 10 piece band, but a lot of places can’t afford to have my 10 piece band there. So, I will be coming up there with a 3 piece band, and I will also be doing solo shows. My show is going to be totally different to anything you have ever seen before. It is a combination of Rock, Classical, Blues, Funk, Gospel and Folk, all in the same show.
Are you doing most of your shows in clubs or at other venues as well?
I’m doing quite a few festivals also. Since the 2nd of Feb when I got here, we have been in a different place every day. I have to look at my website to see what I’m doing on what particular day, because I haven’t had time to organise things.
There are some festivals and clubs and the most prestige show of my life is with BB King coming up on the 12th and 13th at the State Theatre. It’s going to be a once in a lifetime show. When we get together, it’s a wide ocean of emotion in our music.
For your Aussie fans out there, how can they keep in touch with what you’re doing?
My website will have a listing of all the dates of where I’ll be throughout Australia at: www.eugenebridges.com
We also do a lot of charity events, but I never advertise that. I have been so blessed all of my life, and there are a lot of people out there who can’t afford to watch my show or any show for that fact, and it’s just nice to give a little back.
Thank you Eugene.
Eugene will be playing at Laurieton United Services Club on 5 March. Phone 6559 9110 for tickets and details.