When he's on the road Chris Isaak does a good job of playing the rock star/heartthrob. After more than 30 years, after all, he should.
But back home in the San Francisco Bay Area the singer of "Wicked Game" and more happily plays the dutiful son, one of three brothers taking care of his aging mother, Dorothy.
"I'm her chief bottle washer, chauffeur, the whole thing," Isaak, who turned 60 in June, says by phone. "I'm a rock star Wednesday, and when I come home Thursday I'm just laughing 'cause the first thing when I'm back, mom's like, 'Chris, you're back from the road. Oh honey, you need to eat something. You're skinny.'
"And them immediately it's like, 'Y'know that light build in the hall needs something. It's not working right' and 'There's something that died behind the garbage can. You better go look.' So you're right back to work."
But Isaak called the "job" "pretty cool," though he laughs at how he and his brothers handle their' "mom by committee" caretaking.
"Men are terrible at taking care of people," Isaak says. "I'll call my brother, 'Is mom OK?' 'Yeah, she's OK. I went there. I gave her two pounds of ground round on Wednesday.' 'But did you check on her?' That's my family; It's like, 'Is mom OK?' Yeah, she's got steak in the icebox. It's OK...'"
Isaak hit his own landmark of 60 without much angst. "The only thing I can say is I don't feel it," he notes. "I'm still kinda doing the same things I've always done." And that includes being on the road, this year still promoting his 2015 album "First Comes The Night," and with no foreseeable plans to change course.
"Like Jimmy Stewart says, it's a wonderful life," Isaak says. "I know people who have had bigger careers and they made more money, but they haven't had more fun. I love playing live. The guys, who have been with me for, like 30 years, love playing live. We get on the bus right after the show and talk about what we just did and the girl in the third row and the guy that got up and danced and the bass string that broke and you have stories for 500 miles until the next town.
"It's just so fun. The minute I get off the road I go to work and help my mom and do other things, but after about a week or so I've got to get back on the road. I'm dying to. And I'm just happy that somebody shows up and we get to party every night and play."
8 p.m. Friday, July 15.
SoundBoard in the Motor City Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit.
Tickets are $38-$55.
Call 1-866-783-9622 or visit soundboarddetroit.com.
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