US musician Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges to perform in Esperance

US musician Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges. Photo: Supplied.
US musician Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges. Photo: Supplied.

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US musician Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges first picked up a guitar more than 53 years ago after his father, a fellow musician, saw him using a plastic spade and rubber band to make music.

Since then, Mr Bridges said his music had been about telling a story and delivering a message that his listeners could grow from.

Now in his 20th year of travelling from his home in Houston Texas to Australia to share his music, Mr Bridges is set to arrive in Esperance to perform as part of the third and final instalment of the WA'S Finest Series.

"I started when I was two years old, playing behind my dad, Hideaway Slim, and on January 2, 1966, I got my first guitar," he said.

"My dad saw me with a plastic spade and a rubber band on it - the sound in my head needed to come out.

"Being a blues man himself, when my dad saw that he sat me down and showed me what is now known today as the 'honky-tonk'.

"The main thing my father taught me was not to move on until I actually had it, until you're able to make a statement with that cord.

"This tour is all about reaching the yesterday, before my time, before my dad's time, to keep the history, the foundation of this music alive along with the sound of tomorrow.

"The today and tomorrow are based on the foundation of yesterday."

Mr Bridges believes his musical ability was a blessing from God and said he was continually inspired by both history and the life unfolding around him.

"What motivates me is life itself, life in observation - true life," he said.

"It's about the things around you that make you stand for something, telling the stories that need to be told. 

"I would not write about anything that I cannot back up, that I don't believe in. 

"The inspiration comes from my grandmother, my mother, my pastor, my dad, B.B. King, Sam Cooke, T-Bone Walker - the history that helps me tell this story.

"I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't just follow what everybody else is doing - it's already been done.

"I'd rather do it right than to do it right now and there has got to be a message and growth in anything I do."

Mr Bridges first visited Australia in 1999 and has since travelled annually to perform in a number of state's for sellout shows.

Being invited back time and time again, Mr Bridges said he believed his music resonated with Australian listeners because it was real.

Third and final performance in WA's Finest Series: Eugene will be joined by 2018 WAM Best Regional act Tracey Barnett as well as local acts Carpark Social and Rachel Vibart when he performs on Saturday, April 13, at the Cannery Arts Centre. Photo: Supplied.

Third and final performance in WA's Finest Series: Eugene will be joined by 2018 WAM Best Regional act Tracey Barnett as well as local acts Carpark Social and Rachel Vibart when he performs on Saturday, April 13, at the Cannery Arts Centre. Photo: Supplied.

"I come by invitation and so many people in Australia have welcomed me," he said.

"It's about the love that I receive when I'm here."

"I think it resonates because it's [his music] real.

"People are tired of the house beat and nobody saying nothin' - I'm here to deliver a message.

"My music doesn't segregate either. It's a bit of everything - blues, country, rock, gospel.

"What makes my music stand out is that I don't follow trends.

"I want my music to make people stronger, wiser and give them something to subscribe to.

"If I cannot give that, if I cannot deliver that every time I'm on stage, in every song, I'm wasting my time and everybody else's time."

Eugene will be joined by 2018 WAM Best Regional act Tracey Barnett as well as local acts Carpark Social and Rachel Vibart when he performs on Saturday, April 13, from 6:00pm until 11:00pm at the Cannery Arts Centre.

Mr Bridges said attendees could expect ballads, funk, soulful music and gospel - everything that he said had kept him going for the last 53 years.

The WA'S Finest series, launched by project manager Kyron Smithson, is supported by Dudley Newton Optometrists, Elders Insurance and Elpha.

To purchase tickets, visit www.canneryartscentre.com.au/events/