An Intimate Evening of Music and Conversation with Jeff Bridges
with Beat Root Rev
Tue Aug 6
An Intimate Evening of Music and Conversation with Jeff Bridges
with Beat Root Rev
|Age:||Ages 21+ Only|
The movie star has had a deep-seated love for music his entire life & his country music creations are a true testament to just that.Sold Out
VENUE PRESALE - WED, JUN 19TH @ 12:00PM
PUBLIC ON SALE - FRI, JUN 21ST @ 12:00PM
Not on the e-mail list for Presales? Sign Up to be a Belly Up VIP and you will never miss a chance to grab tickets before they go on sale to the general public again!
Genre: country / pop rock
Ticket Price: $85 advanced / $90 day of show / $149 reserved loft seating (loft seating is available over the phone or in person at our box office)
"This album is a natural extension of the love of music I've had all my life," says Jeff Bridges. And, in fact, "natural" is as good a word as any to describe the feeling of Bridges' self-titled major label debut. Featuring a roster of magnificent songwriters and musicians, and produced by Bridges' friend of three decades, Grammy-award winner T Bone Burnett, the ten-song disc is soulful and heartfelt. It may mark a switch from the six-time Oscar nominee's usual day job, but the performances on Jeff Bridges consistently feel both comfortable and true.
The album is a logical follow-up to Bridges' Academy Award-winning portrayal of grizzled former country music legend Bad Blake in the 2009 film Crazy Heart. "I actually passed on the movie at first because it had no music in it," says Bridges, "but when I found out that T Bone was interested, I was like, 'Let's do this thing.'
There are numerous echoes of Crazy Heart to be found on Jeff Bridges. In addition to Burnett's participation, songwriters Stephen Bruton, John Goodwin, and Greg Brown contributed to both projects, and Ryan Bingham (who won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy Award for co-writing the film's “The Weary Kind”) adds vocals to the opening track, "What a Little Bit of Love Can Do." Bo Ramsay's "Either Way" had been considered for the movie, and "Slow Boat," co-written by Bridges and Burnett, is actually the title of a Bad Blake song that's mentioned in Thomas Cobb's original Crazy Heart novel.
But Bridges' involvement in music goes back a lot longer, and far deeper, than just this one film. "I've been into music ever since I was a kid," he says. "My mother forced me to take piano lessons, maybe when I was around 8—I got as far as 'Fur Elise' and I bailed, and I've regretted it ever since." But then he discovered his brother Beau's Danelectro guitar, and starting in high school, joined up with his grade-school buddy Goodwin and a group of other friends for a Wednesday night jam session—which they continued, every week, for the next fifteen years. ("We recorded everything we did on a reel to reel," says Bridges. "We've talked about mining that stuff, seeing if there's anything worth polishing up.")
Though his parents, actors Dorothy and Lloyd Bridges, encouraged their kids to pursue the thespian track, Jeff was more interested in music and art. But when he started to see some success in the movies at a young age, he says he was "drawn to the path of least resistance, and music took a backseat—but I was still writing all that time."
As he made more films, and became one of the most prominent and respected actors of his time, Bridges found that music was often a key element in his projects. "Different assignments would come up and turn me on to different types of music," he says. "The Fabulous Baker Boys was all about getting steeped in jazz, learning about this Bill Evans style of piano playing.
"On movie sets, so many actors also play music. A great example of that was Heaven's Gate—Kris Kristofferson brought along many of his musician friends, like Ronnie Hawkins, Stephen Bruton and T Bone, and our down time was all spent making music. That movie was really the birth of the music that came out in Crazy Heart."
That 1980 film marked the beginning of a long-time relationship between Bridges and Burnett. The guiding hand behind such Grammy powerhouses as the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack and Robert Plant and Allison Krauss' Raising Sand, as well as recent albums by Gregg Allman and the duo of Elton John and Leon Russell, Burnett selected the songs for the soundtrack to the incomparable 1998 film The Big Lebowski. After they reunited for Crazy Heart, Bridges approached Burnett about making a record together.
"Jeff is an honest-to-God artist," says Burnett. "And he's also a most readily-directed person—if you say something, he absorbs it and takes it in."
"I look at T Bone the same way I relate to a director on a movie," says Bridges. "I empower them to help me to transcend myself and take me further than I think I can go. I see him as an aspect of myself—I try to create as thin a membrane between each other as possible, and become one entity and let it rip."
From an initial group of fifty songs, they narrowed down their choices and wound up cutting sixteen songs in just over a week. Burnett assembled his usual team of ace musicians—including drummer Jay Bellerose, bassist Dennis Crouch, keyboardist Keefus Ciancia, Russ Paul on pedal steel, and guitarist Jackson Smith, along with the astonishing Marc Ribot adding guitar on some tracks—plus guest vocalists Rosanne Cash, Sam Phillips, and Benji Hughes.
"All these musicians were wonderful – real masters," says Bridges. "You show them the chord changes once and the song is immediately not just played but interpreted beautifully."
Perhaps the most notable element of Jeff Bridges, though, is the extraordinary songwriting. Writers like Greg Brown and the late Stephen Bruton may not be household names, but they are true musicians' musicians. Their contributions, next to four songs that Bridges wrote or co-wrote, add up to a unified voice for the album—simple but philosophical, concise but profound.
Bridges is especially pleased by the inclusion of several compositions by John Goodwin, his friend since fourth grade. "It was really joyful to have my dear friend there when we were recording," he says, "and to realize some of these songs of his—like 'Everything But Love' or 'The Quest'—that I've been playing for years."
After finishing work on this album, Jeff Bridges concludes that there are strong connections between his two passions of acting and music-making. "There are more similarities than differences," he says. "They're both very collaborative, you're working with different artists, but there are also solo aspects in the writing and the practicing. You prepare, and then you let go and give it up."
Beat Root Revival
If you listen to the music of Beat Root Revival, you are going to hear a lot of different sounds.
According to the duo’s Ben Jones, that isn’t just a coincidence.
“That’s really the kind of feel that we were going for. The reason we came up with our name was because of our style. The majority of our influences were very much roots based. Mine were the blues, rock and roll, and 60s kind of pop. Andrea comes from Ireland, and plays traditional instruments but uses them in a very universal fashion, creating a folk pop sound. We tried to blend all of the influences that both of us had in our style.”
The “Andrea” that Jones is referring to is his partner in the duo, Andrea Magee. She says that the two have been the perfect vocal fit for each other – as their passion for music is equally strong.
Music has long been important to both Jones and Magee. Andrea recalls that her exposure to music came rather early. “At the age of seven, I started playing the flute, and I started playing in bars in Ireland with my sister and my dad. A lot of my early years in music were in either classical or traditional Irish music. I studied music in school, got an honors degree in music, and became a music teacher, I was in charge of the music department in high school. I did that for about three years,” she said, until her students actually encouraged her to pursue her music as a career. For Jones, his introduction to music came a little bit later. “I got started being interested in music relatively late,” he says with a laugh. “I was about twelve.” What was guiding his influences? His father. “I was very fortunate to have my dad’s record collection as a starting point. I remember getting into The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Neil Young. By my teenage years, I was able to put all of those influences together.”
As it was, that love of music brought them together. “I was still a high school music teacher when I began to get involved in the local music scene in Kent and he was already working the music circuit, playing live shows,” said Magee, who ended up opening up a show for Jones’s band. From that point, the musical chemistry was obvious. “We wound up sharing each other’s’ songs, and we were both fascinated by the fact that we were both pushing our own material. And we used this to drive each other forward.”
After word of mouth concerning their performances began to spread in their native United Kingdom, Ben and Andrea decided do take a chance and see what musical adventures they could find in America. Andrea admitted that the trip was everything she thought it would be. “It was wonderful. I have always been drawn to the United States and knew I wanted to spend more time here because of the history of American music. What we were really taken by on a personal level was how welcoming and hospitable everyone was here, especially people in Austin, New Orleans, and Nashville. They really seemed to open their doors to us on a personal family level and treated us as a member of their community, which has been very invaluable when you’re a long way from home.”
Their first stop in the states was deep in the heart of Texas, visiting Austin. Ironically, they just happened to travel to the musical center of the Lone Star state when South by Southwest – one of the leading musical festivals in the country was going on. She admits it was a little bit of a culture shock. “We were just a little bit shellshocked when we walked up and down Sixth Street. We were so much in awe, and thought it was incredible. We were trying to get gigs, and we thought it was going to be impossible.”
However, thanks to the hospitality of a local taxi driver – who was willing to show them some of the musical hotspots, they did make some valuable connections – one of which led to a big performance. “We ended up talking to the owner of one of the clubs who asked us if we would be interested in opening for Dale Watson. So, that was our introduction to Austin. Then, he and his band were so taken with our sound that they asked us to come to the Continental to open for him – on our very first trip!”
While they were in Austin, they also established friendships with some of the most legendary musicians in the region. From there, they made a trip to New York, where a chance meeting would lead them to Nashville.
Beat Root Revival released their debut effort, Waiting On A Miracle, in the fall of 2014. The duo has traveled back to Austin to begin work on their follow up. Magee says she hopes the sophomore project will convey the growth that she feels the duo has made. “The first album was a snapshot of where we were at that point and time. We had only been together for a few months, so we just wanted to capture that eclectic group of sounds we had to offer at that point. Obviously, this new album is a progression. It’s a fully formed picture of where we are right now. We’ve gone from coast to coast and have had so many musical journeys so far.”
Jones agrees, saying they have definitely found their collective voice. “On a personal level, when we made the first album, we were just trying to bring two solo talents together. I think that over the past year, we’ve really developed our sound. We’ve worked out a way to celebrate our sound as two different artists that have come together. I think the new album will be very representative of that.” "The group continues that relentless search for authenticity in their sound - a drive that informs their creative approach. With each show they perform, the fan base continues to build - charming audiences from Europe to the U.S. with their impassioned concerts.
So for Ben and Andrea, the “Beat” definitely goes on!