The annual Cairns Blues Festival gets underway tomorrow at Fogarty Park — with a great line-up of local and overseas performers. This afternoon I met the man I’m sure will be the highlight of the festival, Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges.
He was making music by the age of three, playing with his blues guitarist father, Hideaway Slim. On his mother’s side, Eugene is related to Tina Turner. The road is his home, and that road has once again brought him to Cairns.
Eugene’s musical roots run deep in gospel and the blues, but he believes music is much more than the labels by which we describe it. His dream was to travel the world and play music inspired by the sounds of his life in Louisiana and Texas.
And Eugene is a natural story-teller, in music and conversation. As they say in blues circles, he’s the real deal. He’s played with the great gospel group The Mighty Clouds of Joy, and with the legendary Big Joe Turner Memphis Blues Caravan.
Here’s the conversation we had on the radio this afternoon. It begins with a song Eugene wrote in the shower in Perth, while on a previous Australian tour.