Popkey on aging gracefully, nostalgia and Boise’s blooming music scene + video

I know, I know, this has nothing to do with Idaho politics. But I’m gonna share it anyway.

This week, I attended my first show at the Sapphire Room at the Riverside Hotel. The draw was Karla Bonoff, one of those artists from my college days that gets me weepy.

Bonoff, Ronstadt, the Eagles, J.D. Souther, and most meaningful to me, Jackson Browne, were among a generation of folk-rock artists who learned their chops and from one another at the Troubadour in West Hollywood.

Ronstadt boosted Bonoff’s career when she recorded Bonoff’s “Someone To Lay Down Beside Me,” “Lose Again” and “If He’s Ever Near,” in 1976, the year I graduated high school and began college in Northern California.

Now, thanks to the gutsy singer-songwriter Andy Bryon, we get to hear acts like Bonoff right here in Garden City, as chronicled recently by my Statesman colleague Michael Deeds.

Bonoff is promoting a new record, “Looking into You: A Tribute to Jackson Brown,” featuring Bonoff and others, including Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Indigo Girls, David Lindley, Lyle Lovett, Keb Mo, Lucinda Williams, Shawn Colvin and Bruce Springsteen.

Bonoff, 62, never had a big voice, but it’s aching beauty hasn’t left her. Thanks to my rare good sense — I bought tickets as soon as I learned of the show — we were in the front row, looking up at Bonoff and her guitar. I took this video from the little night club table for two. She’s singing “Personally,” which rose to No. 19 on the singles chart.

Here’s Bonoff, a little shy, actually, opening the song.

And closing the song, seemingly laughing at still being on stage…

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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