Review: Eugene Hideaway Bridges – Roots And Vines

Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013

Eugene Bridges CD Cover

Eugene Hideaway Bridges – Roots And Vines

(Armadillo Music: ARMD00034)

On reaching fifty years of age in 2013, Eugene Hideaway Bridges was inspired to compile an album that reflected his major influences, including the gospel and blues music that laid the foundation of his early musical development in his native Louisiana. “Roots And Vines” contains 16 tracks, which include twelve original compositions. Eugene’s vocals and guitar playing are backed on the album by Pat Manske on drums and percussion, Lloyd Maines on pedal steel and David Webb and Clayton Doley on keyboards.

After a rousing version of the traditional gospel number, “Glory Glory”, and a cover of “Farewell My Darling”, the next three tracks are essentially well-crafted songs in the Sam Cooke mould, one of which, “Good Old Days”, is imbued with a country flavour. A lovely version of “They Call The Wind Mariah”, leads into the first blues-based track in the form of the shuffle “Rise Above It”. The slight taste of country is back on the table with “I Will Still Be In Love With You”, followed by the bluesy “A Thing Called Love” and the funky-edged “Under My Roof”.

“17 Miles To Go” is a slow-paced gospel number in complete contrast with the upbeat and bluesy “How Long Will It Take” before the energy level is raised even higher with “Nelly Bell”, a tribute to Eugene’s much-loved 1981 Datsun 720 truck. A leisurely rendition of “Wayward Wind” is the final cover version on the album, followed by the fast-moving “Basil’s Bar”, complete with some lyrical guitar artistry. The album is completed with the slow and bluesy “Don’t Call It Supper” and the slow blues “School House Blues”, accompanied by a splendid, trademark guitar solo.

This is a delightful album, which fully exhibits Eugene’s impressive songwriting ability, his exceptional vocal skills and his masterful guitar playing. It is little wonder that his appearances in the UK are so enthusiastically supported by his discerning band of admirers.

LIONEL ROSS

www.bluearmadillo.com

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