An Evening with Academy Award® Winner Jeff Bridges at the Golden State Theatre
Do you love The Dude from The Big Lebwoski and the music and films of the talented Academy Award® Winner, Jeff Bridges? Jeff Bridges is returning to Monterey’s Golden State Theatre by popular demand! Don’t miss An Evening with Jeff Bridges at the Golden State Theatre on Friday, July 26, 2019.
AT A GLANCE:
WHAT: An Evening with Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges is an internationally respected American actor, singer, and producer. If you’ve seen Jeff Bridges in concert you know that he’s an outstanding musician, rocking it on stage as he is delivering stellar performances as an actor on the big screen. He won the Academy Award® for best Actor for his role as Otis “Bad” in the film Crazy Heart and Academy Award® nominations for his role in The Big Lebowski, Seabiscut, The Contender and more.
WHEN: Friday, July 26, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Golden State Theatre, 417 Alvarado, Downtown Monterey. (831) 649-1070.
TICKETS: Buy individual tickets (tickets range from $44-$88. Tickets are available at www.goldenstatetheatre.com, or by calling 831-649-1070 or on the day of the show. Group ticket discounts are available for 10 or more.
About Jeff Bridges
In August 2011 Jeff released his self-titled major label debut album for Blue Note Records. Multiple-Grammy Award-wining songwriter, musician and producer T Bone Burnett produced the album. It is an organic extension and culmination of his personal, professional and music friendship with Burnett, whom he has known for more than 30 years. The critically acclaimed album was a follow up to his first solo effort “Be Here Soon,” on Ramp Records, the Santa Barbara, CA label he co-founded with Michael McDonald and producer/singer/songwriter Chris Pelonis. The CD features guest appearances by vocalist/keyboardist Michael McDonald, Grammy-nominated Amy Holland and country-rock legend David Crosby. In 2014, he released his first live album “Jeff Bridges & The Abiders Live” and has been touring off and on when he is not working.
"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."
About the Golden State Theatre
In 1926, a 15,000 square-foot Moorish castle rose on Alvarado Street, to the amazement of locals and visitors alike. A new cinema and live performance venue to rival those in California's largest cities, the Golden State Theatre, which was built by the Reid Brothers, was the definition of an opulent movie palace. After decades of deterioration, it was faithfully restored to its former glory, featuring an Old-World grand lobby and mezzanine, one thousand plush velvet seats, state-of-the-art sound, and the indefinable magic of a truly historic setting. Dana Carvey, B.B. King, Dave Mason, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Yes, Patti Smith, The Beach Boys, Bob Weir and The Smothers Brothers — these are just some of the names that have graced the stage, contributing to the Theatre's new legacy since its renovation and exciting revival. The community is invited to attend a world-class concert or film festival at the Golden State Theatre, or host their own special event here, and become part of its new chapter of history.
The Golden State Theatre is operated by husband and wife entrepreneurs, Eric and Lori Lochtefeld, along with a team of industry professionals from across the country. Winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year in San Mateo County, they are also Managers of the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, also built by the Reid Brothers in 1929, where they hold nearly 200 events per year. Through their work with the Fox Theatre and the community, they have helped to revitalize downtown Redwood City. For more information, go towww.goldenstatetheatre.com
The Golden State Theatre is located at 417 Alvarado Street in Downtown Monterey and has many more outstanding events coming up including A Solo Acoustic Evening with Richard Marx (July 13), Steve Earle and the Dukes (August 16), Comedian Adam Carolla (August 17), Justin Hayward (August 28), Get the Led Out (Music of Led Zeppelin) (October 11), Lewis Black (October 24), The Wailers (October 26), Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutrcracker (November 9), An Evening with Bruce Cockburn (November 23), An Irish Christmas (November 29), Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin (December 7), The Dee Wop Project (February 23, 2020) and more to be announced!