The Bacon Brothers back at The Birchmere | Arts & Entertainment

Actor Kevin Bacon and composer Michael Bacon bring some brotherly love to the stage

The name Kevin Bacon is often associated with the actor’s high-profile movies (“Footloose,” “Apollo 13,” “A Few Good Men”) or the popular Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game named after him. Meanwhile, the name Michael Bacon is famous for his prowess as a composer, as he has crafted hundreds of musical scores for both film and TV.

Together, they have spent the past two decades taking time away from their respective careers to record music and hit the road each year to perform as the Bacon Brothers.

“We’ve been doing this for several decades if you go back to when we first had instruments in our hands,” Michael said. “It was just a natural thing for Kevin and I to do things together. I discovered early on that he had a natural gift for sharing sentiments that were personal to him, but in fact universal as far as most people were concerned. That’s really the essence of what our band has been all about and it’s been immensely satisfying to us.”

The Philadelphia-bred siblings sing, write songs and both play guitar and it’s clear that they don’t just consider this a side job. Kevin adds harmonica and percussion to the mix and Michael shows off his classical training on the cello—and their songs could easily fit in with the radio hits one hears each day.

“Both of us have a strong work ethic and a desire to create,” Kevin said. “It can be overwhelming at times, especially when considering our other obligations. I’m not one who’s drawn to relaxation. If I finish one task, I’m always drawn to do something else or get another job. I’m always hungry to work on something, and often that’s when the songs pop up. So that gives me another reason to continue to create.”

The brothers will be heading to The Birchmere for two nights, April 11 and 12, with their longtime bandmates, Paul Guzzone (bass, backing vocals), Joe Mennonna (keyboards, accordion), Tim Quick (lead guitar, mandolin, backing vocals) and Frank Vilardi (drums).

“The Birchmere is a great listening room and built for songwriters,” Kevin said. “People are encouraged to listen and enjoy the music. There are certain pockets of the country that we return to time and time again, and when you’re not a ‘radio band,’ people generally are not familiar with the music. But that challenge is eased because people come back each time and know the vibe of our band. That’s really fun and we love playing there.”

While the duo—who live on separate coasts most of the year—are sometimes too busy to find time to get new songs out or even see each other outside of special occasions and their annual tour, they used the pandemic to get some quality Bacon time together.

The Bacon Brothers remained extremely productive throughout the pandemic, producing four videos, serving as judges in the American Songwriter Lyric Competition, and performing in a September 11 tribute at the World Trade Center. They also found time to finish a live recording and record an EP with new music that will be released soon.

“We have these new songs that we’ll be playing at the show, and we have some of the old stuff in the set as well,” Michael said. “We have a single coming out called, ‘In Memory of When I Cared,’ and it’s very different than our other songs—the production is very contemporary, and we’re really proud of it. It’s a new direction for us.”

It wasn’t all off-time for the brothers, as Kevin did go back to work early for the Showtime hit show, “City on a Hill,” as Hollywood got back earlier than most industries. And Michael did a lot of virtual work through file sharing and taught his college classes online, though he’s now back in-person.

“It was frustrating not to be able to play live music, as that’s a big part of both of our lives,” Michael said.

But the Bacon Brothers found time for two solid weeks for this tour, and have other shows peppered in over the course of the next few months.

“We went down to the 9/11 Memorial and played one song, and it just felt so great to play, so we are excited to get back and play live again,” Kevin said. “If you’re ready to get down, have the lights go down and hear some live music, we’re ready to play.”


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