Jeff Bridges Live at the Troubadour

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Jeff Bridges and band by John Garrett

Jeff Bridges closed his set last night with a Dylan cover — “The Man In Me”, best known as the opening song in The Big Lebowski, a movie that turned a very talented actor into a cult hero. (though he did decline the “caucasian” offered to him by an audience member). After picking up a Best Actor Oscar for his recent turn as washed up country musician Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, Bridges has decided to dive head first back into music and release a solo album on a major label, EMI’s Blue Note Records.

I was lucky enough to be at the Troubadour last night where he played a set to family (including his brother Beau), friends, fellow musicians and lots of industry folk (if only they would stop talking!). He blamed T Bone Burnett for his foray into music but seemed totally at home on the stage. Quincy Jones genuinely and lovingly introduced him to the crowd and Bridges was grinning from the moment he walked on stage to the moment he left, calling the show “surreal”.

Very few people get to live out their rock star dreams – and very few people do it well, as Bridges did last night, surrounded by a band of expert players.  (He lives in Santa Barbara and was worried about putting together a band, but said his players “were the first guys to show up”) As always seems to be the case, his vibe dictated everything. He is cool no matter what he does, even if he takes a few minutes too long to tune a guitar. He seems so at ease with everything, that you’re at ease too, which makes for a delightful evening.

It was great to hear tracks from Crazy Heart like “The Weary Kind” and “Fallin’ and Flyin’” and many of the songwriters who worked on the movie wrote material for the new album.  The catchy first single “What A Little Bit of Love Can Do” is a lot of  fun and “Blue Car” had a nice groove.

His self-titled new album will be out August 16 and while there aren’t any tour dates planned yet — apparently he’s heading off to shoot another movie — look out for them in the future.


Jeff Bridges Album Tracklisting

“What A Little Bit Of Love Can Do”

“I Will Wait”

“Falling Short”

“Maybe I Missed The Point”

“Tumbling Vine”

“Nothing Yet”

“Blue Car”

“Slow Boat”

“Either Way”

“Everything But Love”

“The Quest”

Jeff Bridges by John Garrett (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)