The Carolina Theater, Durham
Most people would agree that there’s nothing stronger, more durable and occasionally, even more volatile, than the bond between brothers. And when that bond includes the common goal of making music, the results often offer reason for an audience to sit up and take notice. There have been any number of examples in music’s modern era — the Everly Brothers, the Beach Boys, the Kinks, and Oasis to name but a few. Not that it’s easy or even agreeable, but there is common cause, and that’s generally enough to ensure there’s passion and purpose in its creation.
Just ask the Bacon Brothers. Fiercely devoted to making music, even from an early age (they cite such influences as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Motown, Led Zeppelin, Philly soul, and James Taylor, with mentions from Michael of Pete Seeger, Jimmy Rogers, Chet Atkins, and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and additional kudos to Michael from Kevin for his input), the two siblings share a singular body of work that’s found them spending more than 20 years of working the road and paying their dues, resulting in nine albums – Forosoco (1997), Getting There (1999), Can’t Complain (2001), Live: The No Food Jokes Tour (2003), White Knuckles (2005), New Year’s Day (2009), Philadelphia Road (2011) 36 Cents (2014), and the eponymous, The Bacon Brothers (2018) — spanning rock, soul, folk and Americana. Never content to be typecast, they’re fiercely devoted to the cause of making music, undeterred by fame, fortune or the pitfalls that frequently obstruct the path to success.
It’s not that either brother lacks the means to steal the spotlight. Kevin Bacon is an award-winning actor with 80 films and dozens of television and stage credits to his name, resulting in numerous Emmy and Screen Actors Guild nominations cited in his resume. Older brother Michael initially began making music in their native Philadelphia before moving to Nashville where his songwriting career blossomed by leaps and bounds. An Emmy-winning composer, he most recently scored the documentary “That Way Madness Lies” currently on the festival circuit. Other recent works include the audiobook: “You Don’t Look Your Age…And Other Fairytales” and the HBO documentary “RX: Early Detection with Sandra Lee” which premiered at Sundance last year.
Still, while it’s clear that Michael and Kevin don’t view the band as simply a sideline, their commitment is clear. Indeed, the high points have been many. Kevin points to an opening slot for The Band at Carnegie Hall, surveying the Texas landscape in the midst of a lightning storm, rocking the Stone Pony on the Jersey Shore and Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. For Michael, it’s been all about touring in Germany and Japan, and the fascination he feels performing for overseas audiences.
So while casual observers may be awed by their Hollywood credentials, critics have been quick to note that the brothers – Michael on vocals, guitar and cello and Kevin on vocals, guitar and percussion — along with the band that’s been with them since the beginning — Paul Guzzone (bass, backing vocals), Joe Mennonna (keyboards, accordion), Tim Quick (lead guitar, mandolin and backing vocals) and Frank Vilardi (drums) — eschew any hint of glitz and glamour in favor of an ethic gleaned from the hard lessons come as a result of determination and drive.
About The Artist
The Bacon Brothers is the American musical duo of Michael Bacon and Kevin Bacon. Although they have played music together since they were boys, the brothers have only been a working band since 1995. Having heard the brother’s music, a childhood friend approached them about doing a one night only gig in their hometown of Philadelphia at the Theatre of Living Arts under the moniker The Bacon Brothers. Since then, the band has gone on to release seven studio albums, appear on numerous radio, television, and web programs, and on many tours throughout North America and Europe. The brother’s first studio release in 1997 was entitled Forosoco, derived from what the brothers describe their genere to be as a mix of folk, rock, soul, and country.
The Bacon Brothers also appear on Sandra Boynton‘s children’s CDs Dog Train, and Philadelphia Chickens, on which they sing the title track. Their song “Chop Wood (Carry Water)” is on the soundtrack of the 2004 film The Woodsman, which Kevin produced and starred in. Their song “When You Decide You’ve Stayed Too Long” is on the soundtrack of the 2003 film Red Betsy. Kevin starred in and produced Loverboy with his wife Kyra Sedgwick, which Michael also scored.
In January 2006, the Bacon Brothers appeared on an episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. The episode featured Michael Bacon as the episode’s “straight guy” and makeover recipient, and ended with both Bacon Brothers performing.
In 2008, Michael composed many soundtracks for television, including the soundtrack for the PBS mini series The Jewish Americans and The Kennedys for which he won an Emmy.
In February 2009, the Bacon Brothers were the special guests for Episode 16 of Live From Daryl’s House, Daryl Hall‘s (of Hall & Oates fame) monthly free internet concert. They performed four tracks off their most recent album, as well as some cover songs and the Hall & Oates track “When The Morning Comes.
In March 2009 The Bacon Brothers did Hard Rock Cafe‘s March on Stage with the proceeds going to March On Stage, which is about helping people who make a difference, about giving back to those people that give selflessly of themselves. In the show closing, they were joined on stage by Matt Morris.
In April 2009 they recorded “Private Sessions” which aired on the A&E channel. A new single, “Guilty of the Crime”, a duet with The Bellamy Brothers, was released in June 2009.
On June 27, 2009 The Bacon Brothers gave a brief concert, for the fundraisers who climbed to the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado, in support of the Love Hope Strength Foundation. The event was videoed by Matt Carpenter, high altitude marathoner and posted on their Myspace page. Later that night, The Bacon Brothers played a concert at the Denver Hard Rock Cafe. Also playing were Cy Curnin of The Fixx, and The White Buffalo.
The Bacon Brothers toured throughout the US East Coast during the summer of 2009 promoting their fifth studio album New Years Day released November 2008. During that tour, the band was a headliner for the WXPN Xpotential Music Festival in Camden, New Jersey. The festival performance featured an appearance from musicians from the Mummers to perform the title track of the record.
That same summer, Kevin and Michael teamed up with Philadelphia singer Bunny Sigler and a group of mummers from a local string band to record a special edition of their song “New Years Day” as a part of a fundraiser to be able to pay for the Mummers Parade in 2010 after the city could no longer fund the parade. An MP3 of the recording was sold online and people paid donations to purchase the song. In addition, they performed a one night only benefit on December 5, 2009 at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA which was broadcast live. The concert included numerous performances such as The Fralinger String Band, and Bunny Sigler onstage with the band. Though many of the people in the crowd were from the Philadelphia area and had ties with the mummers, fans from various cities and states came out to support the band that night and the 2010 Mummers Parade took place. For their service, Kevin and Michael were given positions of grand marshals in the parade.
On May 6 and 7, 2011, The Bacon Brothers gave two concerts for the new non-profit California Dream Week design contest and event week. The concerts were geared to help promote the event’s first year launch and awarded both students and high schools focusing on sustainable design for a healthy planet. Seven students from around California were awarded scholarships for their projects in architecture and design, Transportation, and Product Compliments during an award ceremony prior to the May 7 concert. That same year, the band released its greatest hits album entitled Philadelphia Roadconsisting of tracks from the first four studio albums.
The next studio album entitled 36¢ was released on September 16, 2014 after an extensive summer of touring throughout North America. The title song of the album was penned by Michael. “Get a Little”, the fourth song of the album written by Kevin was originally written with the intention of being sung by a young country singer but was ultimately left to be performed by the band. The album also features an unplugged version of the Alanis Morissette song “You Learn” and the version of “Above the Clouds” recorded from the band’s Live from Daryl’s House segment from 2009, featuring Tom Wolk on guitar.
On February 4th 2016, the brothers once again returned to their roots in their hometown of Philadelphia to perform a benefit show at Union Transfer for Friends of the Railpark, which had plans to revitalize the abandoned Reading Viaduct and convert it into an open green space. The event was hosted by renowned Philadelphia WMMR Pierre Robert (DJ).
On June 1, 2018, the band released its self-titled album, marking the band’s seventh studio release and was produced by former Saturday Night Live musical director, G.E. Smith. The first track on the album Tom Petty T-Shirt hit #8 on iTunes and Spotify, in addition to receiving airplay on Tom Petty Radio on SiriusXM. The song was originally nationally debuted on April 26, 2018 on the The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The tracks “I Feel You” and “Broken Glass” feature background vocals from Kevin’s wife, Kyra Sedgwick and their daughter, actress Sosie Bacon. Sosie was also featured in the band’s music video for “Broken Glass”. “Beneath Perfection”, the eighth track of the record was written by Kevin while filming the cult classic Tremors, which was originally named Beneath Perfection. The final track, “Boys in Bars” originally featured on the band’s first studio record Forosoco, was re-recorded at Lehman College Studios in 2016, where Michael Bacon currently teaches as an adjunct professor.
The band played well over 40 shows across the United States throughout the summer of 2018 to promote the record. The tour was dubbed the “A Road We Know Too Well” tour after the fourth track of the album penned by Michael. On this tour, the band was featured on several web series and television programs, including Vault Sessions by the Songbirds Foundation and the Americana and Roots network Ditty TV.
Over the last few years while the band is on the road on tour, they use some of their downtime to give back to local communities through Kevin’s charity SixDegrees.org with drop in performances.
|Address||309 West Morgan StreetDurham, NC27701|
|Date||Jul 23, 2019|
|Performer||The Bacon Brothers|