From the Western Idaho Fair to the Emmy Awards
POSTED: September 13, 2009

The summer is over and the craziness soon begins. My new album comes out worldwide at the end of September, just as a four week tour of the UK begins. Following the UK tour, my band and I head for Germany and finish up in late November in Paris. Here we go…

But before that starts, let me update you on the end of the summer season:

On August 22nd, I returned from Dublin, Ireland, where I took part in a lovely concert at the National Concert Hall with actor/singer Mark McGann, British jazz singer Claire Martin, Conductor-extraordinaire John Wilson and The RTE Concert Orchestra. The show was a reprise of the John Lennon Songbook concert we did last summer in Liverpool with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s really a lovely show-amazing songs of course, very emotional and powerful text. I hope we have a chance to do it again.

When I returned I began three quiet weeks at home with my family. We attended the Western Idaho Fair, which is just as you’d imagine it: Rollercoasters, tasty greasy food, cold draft beer, carnival rides and games, farm animals (my daughter milked a cow), and cotton candy, too. Good fun with a little nausea thrown in for good measure. I’ve been going to this fair since I was a kid (with a 16 year hiatus while I lived in New York City) and it’s still the same. Great people watching. Then we spent a few days sitting on a dock and swimming at Payette Lake in McCall Idaho, where we were visiting our friends who have a lakefront cabin. Very relaxing. Got a good tan and even waterskied a little.

Soon after that we visited LaJolla, California to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. Happy birthday, Virginia! Hung out at the beach and played some tennis. More tanning opportunities. Very relaxing. Then we were back to Boise for the beginning of the school year. Back to getting up 7am for all of us. Ouch.

I’m writing this on a plane as I fly home from Los Angeles, where I flew to attend the Emmy Awards. As previously mentioned, “This Life,” a song that I co-wrote and sang for the opening credits of a the FX Network’s hit TV show “Sons Of Anarchy” was nominated for an Emmy, and I figured I ought to show up, just for the absurd showbiz spectacle of it, you know? I was invited to ride to the event with my new friend Seth McFarlane, the creator/producer/actor of the show “The Family Guy” in his stretch limo. Seth’s a good man and funny as hell so it was a good time. When we arrived at the show, I stood back on the red carpet while Seth posed for the paparazzi and did interviews with all the tabloid entertainment shows. It was actually very nice to be an observant outsider in that world, some years after having been in the middle of that crazy scene. It always felt strange and foreign to me to be in that circus and it was educational and amusing to see it from another, rather anonymous, angle. During the awards at The Nokia Theater, I sat with my co-writers, Bob Thiele, Jr. and Dave Kushner and watched Carol Burnett, Katy Segal, Ted Danson and even my pal Seth give out the awards. When it came to our moment, as I always predicted it would happen, the legendary and brilliant composer and conductor John Williams kicked our butts and sent us packing. I figure it’s a win-win. I’m now and forever an Emmy Nominated songwriter and I can always say, “I remember when I lost that Emmy Award to John Williams…” Pretty good feather in my cap. Sadly, Mr. Williams was not in attendance, so I didn’t get to meet him or to challenge him to arm-wrestle me. I could could have whipped his ass in that category, I’m convinced.

Now we’re beginning our descent into the Boise airport. See you on the ground, and out on the road…