By DONNA BALANCIA
The Bacon Brothers are used to the spotlight, but making music is their first love. The Bacon Brothers will play the Canyon tonight and Napa on Aug. 9 and 10.
Kevin Bacon is an award-winning actor and older brother Michael Bacon has been making music since the early days. They’ve devoted themselves to their art, they’ve been playing music since the early days and have an impressive catalog of music.
They admit that they’re fortunate to get good gigs and enjoy hitting the road. They’re promoting their self-titled album released last year and they’re on tour.
“We’ve pretty much been headliners at the venues we’ve played,” Kevin said. “We’re excited to be playing some of our favorite places as well as discovering new ones. It’ll be fun to go out with some great new music to share.”
The brothers have a packed schedule. In addition to playing clubs around the U.S. and in California, like tonight’s gig at the Canyon Club, they’re looking forward to Kaboo Fest in Del Mar.
“When you go to a festival, it’s a bigger audience, and you get to see how you stand up,” Michael said. “I hope it goes well.”
The inspiration for their songs comes from a range of experiences each brother has.
Kevin 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 Goodface Film’s Master Maggie, starring Lorraine Bracco, Kenan Thompson, and Brian Dennehy.
They’ve made plenty of records over the years.
The two siblings share a singular body of work that’s found them spending more than 20 years 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 Bacon Brothers (2018).
“The last album we did was the self-titled one and it was a bunch of stuff that kind of popped out of us,” Kevin said. “Every time I write a song I think about the last song we wrote.”
Growing up back east, the guys are fans of the singer-songwriters and one in particular.
“For me, 100 percent Bruce Springsteen was an influence because I left Philly in 1976 so the first two records we kind of thought of Springsteen as our hometown act,” he said. “There’s something about him, he felt like a local to us. Bruce brought a brand new level of poetry and the mix of that instrumentation was unusual so when Born to Run came out and it made the cover of Time and Newsweek it was important.”
Touring California brings good vibes, Michael said.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been out there,” Michael said. “We’re really looking forward to it, especially for a Philly boy, I like the routing, and ending up in Napa there are a lot of strong music clubs in California.”
As for the fans, there are many who are dedicated to the two.
“Our fans are great and it depends on where we go,” Kevin said. “There are certain pockets of the country where they come again and again and there’s other places where it’s the first time they’re seeing us. And yes there are more women than men.”
What can fans expect?
“We’ll be trying out a lot of new songs,” Michael said. “We’re both writing a lot. We have about eight new songs.”
The band is comprised of Michael on vocals, guitar and cello and Kevin on vocals, guitar and percussion, Paul Guzzone (bass, backing vocals), Joe Mennonna (keyboards, accordion), Tim Quick (lead guitar, mandolin and backing vocals) and Frank Vilardi (drums).
“We’re having a great time and we have super fantastic musicians, every single one of them,” Kevin said. The stage looks like a music store with 12 strings, 6 strings, cello, sax, keyboards and bass.”
“We really try to have a good time,” Kevin said. “But we take performing very seriously because we know that the people have to take time out of their day, or get a babysitter to come see us and we want to put on a great show.”
SHAKEY GROUND TOUR 2019
Aug 8—Agoura Hills, CA—The Canyon
Aug 9-10—Napa, CA—Blue Note Napa
Aug 17—Kent, OH—The Kent Stage
Aug 18—Lexington, MI—Lexington Village Theatre
Aug 19-20—Arlington Heights, IL—Metropolis Performing Arts Center
Aug 21—Minneapolis, MN—Dakota
Aug 23—Riverside, IA—Riverside Casino & Golf Resort
Aug 24–Fort Wayne, IND—ClydeTheatre
Aug 25—Pittsburgh, PA—Jergel’s Rhythm Grille
Sep 19-20—New York, NY—Sony Hall
Sep 21—Ridgefield, CT—Ridgefield Playhouse
Oct 3-4–Franklin, TN–The Franklin Theatre
Oct 5–Frankfort, KY–The Grand Theatre
Oct 11–Fort Worth, TX–Billy Bob’s Texas
Oct 12–Lubbock, TX–Cactus Theatre