Sunday, August 12, 2007

Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges

Armadillo Music (England) has issued a new, eponymously titled disc by Texas native, Eugene ‘Hideaway Bridges. Unlike Bridges' earlier albums which had him backed by tight, swinging backing combos, this finds Bridges in a more informal setting of his own guitar with some guests on various tracks. These tracks were recorded at different locations across several different continents. The spare setting perhaps enhances how Bridges evokes Sam Cooke and such songs as Piece of the Mountain. Never Alone, with its gospel flavor makes that Cooke comparison more evident. The Soul Stirrers are evoked with the vocal backing provided on this number. Pedal steel player Lucky Oceans enhances the blues-ballad lament Life has No Meaning, the country-tinged Baby Your Love, and the Latin-flavored In Your Arms Tonight. Special Friend, a tale of infidelity, features nice guitar from Ian Moss with what I would be presumed an overdubbed vocal backing. Look at Me Now is a wonderful ballad with spare backing and a light percussionist effectively framing Bridges’ singing, whereas he plays acoustic guitar and adds foot stomp to Ain’t Got Time, as he sings about having a bad attitude but no time to mess with a lady if her heart ain’t true. With Clayton Doley on the Hammond, Bridges handles a T-Bone Walker-B.B. King vein on Love’s Got the Best of Me. Ray Wylie Hubbard adds slide guitar to I Can’t Wait, a nice song with a Jimmy Reed-flavored groove, while Doley again adds Hammond to the closing Man and His Guitar, once again suggests Walker and King with Bridges singing so soulfully about not having or needing much, just being a man with a guitar. Even with the spare accompaniments heard herein, Bridges establishes how soulful a singer he is with the convincing delivery of these twelve songs. While I would suggest one check out his band albums like the superb Jump the Joint or Man Without a Home, Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges is a change of pace to delight fans of this extraordinary blues talent.

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