Like clockwork, Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges wakes up at 6:30 a.m. in his Hollywood home and begins his daily ritual. He fixes a pot of strong coffee, reads the papers, then meditates. “And around 9:30 or 10, I start to hit that damned Internet, just fielding all the emails, and God help you if you stop doing it for a day – it really piles up,” he says. Afterward, it’s always time to further explore his craft. It presents one little problem – deciding which artistic outlet to pursue that day.
The choices are many. Bridges, 64, could study film scripts, like those for his recent dystopian-future dramas “The Giver” and “Seventh Son,” or the conversely upbeat, upcoming adaptation of Exupery’s existential classic “The Little Prince.”
He also could work on his gritty folk-blues music, which he’ll play at the Great American Music Hall this weekend. He and his band The Abiders (which includes his daughter Jessie, who opens the show) are promoting their new Las Vegas-tracked album “Live.”
Bridges says, “I’m an artist, a creative person – I also paint, I do photography and ceramics, along with music and acting. I apply that creativity to whatever’s in front of me.”
His snapshots won’t be on Instagram any time soon, though. He’s solely represented by the posh Rose Gallery in Santa Monica.
“I’m not into some of this new technology stuff – my camera is totally old-school,” he adds.
Painting-wise, Bridges prefers acrylics. That’s how he’s illustrating the children’s book he’s doing with his eldest daughter, Isabelle. “It’s called ‘Daddy-Daughter Day,’ all about the stuff Isabelle and I used to do, just playing when she was growing up,” he says.
As a piano-playing kid, he thought music was his destiny until he and his brother Beau began appearing on his father Lloyd Bridges TV series “Sea Hunt,” and acting beckoned.
In 2009, Bridges’ road forked again, courtesy of a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of a gruff roadhouse veteran in 2009’s “Crazy Heart,” which shone a spotlight on his whiskeyed singing voice and laconic songwriting.
While “Live” features only one of his compositions, “Slow Boat,” alongside chestnuts from Greg Brown, Tom Waits and John Fogerty, Bridges has written plenty of originals for its studio followup.
That’s why he always has a guitar on hand around the house.
“You feel a song, and you reach over and pick her up, and maybe just pick while you’re on the phone,” he says, admitting that he’s boyishly happy touring with The Abiders. “I know it’s kind of late to be living this teenage dream. But I’m glad I’m living it!”
IF YOU GO
Jeff Bridges and The Abiders
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 9
Contact: (415) 885-0750, www.slimspresents.com