The Bacons plan to sizzle when making their Spokane debut
Jan. 26, 2023 Updated Thu., Jan. 26, 2023 at 2:22 p.m.
The Bacon Brothers have no problem playing covers. And now that they’re finally playing in the Inland Northwest Friday night, Kevin and Michael Bacon can deliver “I’ve Been Everywhere” which was popularized by Johnny Cash.
After a 27-year run touring the country and factoring in Kevin Bacon’s acting career, it’s a bit surprising that neither Bacon has been to Spokane.
“There is a first time for everything,” Kevin Bacon said while calling from his Connecticut home. “But it is surprising since Michael and I have been just about everywhere else in this country.”
Even though there is a nine-year age difference between Kevin and Michael Bacon, the brothers began collaborating when the former was an elementary school student.
“We started making music together in 1968,” Kevin Bacon said. “I had melodies in my head and Michael brought them to life on the guitar. But that was when we were kids. We brought this thing to life as adults. But we never thought that when we started this during the ’90s that this would be more than a one-time thing.”
Considering the schedules of both brothers, it’s surprising that the act has been a steady project. Kevin Bacon, 64, has been one of the busiest actors in the industry since he became a star after the release of “Footloose” in 1984. The prolific actor has starred in such films as 1995’s “Apollo 13,” 2003’s “Mystic River” and 2016’s “Patriots Day,” as well as the television series “The Following” and “City on the Hill.”
Michael Bacon, 73, has scored myriad projects and is a college music professor in New York City. “But we love what we do together,” Kevin Bacon said. “Music has been a family project for us for years.”
The family theme has reached another level with the Bacon Brothers latest EP, “Erato.”
The catchy tune, “Karaoke Town” was produced by Kevin Bacon’s son Travis Bacon.
“It’s an absolute blast to work with your kids,” Kevin Bacon said. “I wrote the song in a folky way and Travis added so much to it, which isn’t surprising since he is a pro.”
The Bacons reached out to another pro, Desmond Child. The veteran tunesmith, who penned such hits as Aerosmith’s “Angel,” Bon Jovi’s “Bad Medicine” and Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” co-wrote the catchy pop-rock tune “In Memory (Of When I Cared)” with the Bacons.
“It was intimidating working with Desmond,” Michael Bacon said from his suburban Philadelphia home. “Just look at Desmond’s track record. He’s been writing hits for so many years with so many different recording artists. We went over to his apartment the first day and just talked. We didn’t touch an instrument. And the next day we were more comfortable and we moved forward. Desmond has very specific ideas about rhyming and structure and here we are two self-taught musicians.”
If “In Memory (Of When I Cared”) takes off, the Bacons will have a pleasant problem. If the song catches on it would be a permanent part of its set list.
“I would love it if we had a hit but we since we don’t really have a hit we can play whatever we want,” Michael Bacon said. “I’ve been chasing a hit for 50 years. Hits are so elusive. So anything is in play when we hit the stage.”
So expect tracks from “Erato” and recent material when the Bacon Brothers play Friday at Northern Quest Resort and Casino. “We don’t play much early stuff anymore,” Kevin Bacon said. “We enjoy playing the most recent material.”
Both Bacons, who have released eight albums, have much to draw from as writers since they’ve lived extraordinary lives. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young have written and recorded some of their deepest tunes while in the twilight of their careers.
“I completely agree that some of the finest singer-songwriters have been around for years,” Kevin Bacon said. “Some of the best songs ever made have been written by those under 25 but there are some great songs being written by those who are older. I compare my approach to songwriting to my approach as an actor. The great thing about being an actor is if you hang in there long enough, your parts change. Look at my career and you see how different the roles I played from when I was in my 20s to when I was in my 40s. It’s similar for me as a songwriter. My life has changed and my songs have changed.”
But Kevin Bacon’s connection with his brother Michael hasn’t changed.
“We still very much enjoy making music together,” Kevin Bacon said. “It’s been that way for more than 50 years, which is amazing. We always make time for each other.”
The Bacons are in the music minority as far as brothers in rock go. Many famous brothers no longer play or speak to one another, such as the Gallagher brothers of Oasis fame and the Aston brothers of Gene Loves Jezebel.
“Maybe it has to be with how we’re nine years apart and we weren’t wrestling or trying to get our father’s attention,” Michael Bacon said. “It also probably has a lot to do with the fact that we grew up in a very close knit family in Philadelphia. We all really enjoyed each other and there was always an emphasis on the arts. The arts have been our lives. It’s all that we know and we still focus on the arts every day.”
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