Michael, Kevin Bacon bring Bacon Brothers concerts to Annapolis and Alexandria

Hear our full conversation on my podcast “Beyond the Fame.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley chats with the Bacon Brothers (Part 1)

You’ve seen dozens of his movies, but have you heard him make music with his brother?

Kevin Bacon and Michael Bacon bring The Bacon Brothers to Rams Head, in Annapolis, Maryland, April 6-8 and The Birchmere, in Alexandria, Virginia, April 11-12.

“We had a bunch of shows canceled [by the pandemic] and we sort of laid low,” Michael told WTOP. “At the same time, it was a great opportunity to get back to writing and producing and that kind of stuff. Luckily, as we’re getting back on the road now this spring, we have an LP coming out of five songs. Timing is everything, so we’ll see what happens.”

Kevin agreed that the pandemic provided downtime to spark creativity.

“It’s stuff that jumped out over the pandemic,” Kevin told WTOP. “We were in the studio on the day it seemed like the world shut down. … This new stuff has been done fairly remotely, because that’s been the nature of making music, but we’re excited to start playing again.”

The lead single is “In Memory of When I Cared,” co-written with Desmond Child.

“Desmond Child is a mega songwriter starting with ‘La Vida Loca,’ a bunch of Bon Jovi, Aerosmith,” Michael said. “It was a new experience with a very contemporary style. … We picked a track; he had a bunch of titles and we just cranked it out. It’s very different from anything we’ve ever cut. It’s the most contemporary sounding piece we’ve ever done.”

Their unique sound is best described in their first album title: “Forosoco” (1997), which Kevin said referred to a mix of folk, rock, soul and country.

“The idea that you go in and pick a genre is a little frustrating I guess, because people want to put you in a bin,” Kevin said. “It’s hard; I think our songs do honestly go all over the map.”

In 2019, Michael told us his favorite song was “Only a Good Woman.” How about today?

“Kevin wrote a song called ‘Dark Chocolate Eyes,’ which is just gorgeous,” Michael said. “It’s just got a vibe to it that I don’t think we’ve ever had before. It didn’t beg for cello, but it worked out well. I have an instrumental I resurrected from an old movie soundtrack called ‘Let Me Happen to You Girl.’ … It’s a very happy song, so my wife really likes it.”

In 2019, Kevin’s favorite song was “36 Cents,” but what is it today?

“I love playing this song that I wrote for Michael to sing called ‘Picker,’ which is a lot of fun, off the last record,” Kevin said. “It’s just a really fun song to play because it really is basically a straight-up kind of country song, but it’s about Mike when he was a kid. It’s really fun for me to write about that, then watch him sit back and have to sing and play it.”

The brothers grew up in a family of six kids in downtown Philadelphia. Michael said his parents moved the family there when he was 9.

“They didn’t believe in the suburbs. They thought the city is where a family should be. My father was the city planner.”

Michael added that his parents valued creativity. “They didn’t care much about academics or sports, but [rather] music, dancing, acting, art, theater.”

For years, Michael toiled away at his music career, while Kevin became a blockbuster movie star, before eventually forming The Bacon Brothers for a Philly concert in 1995.

“Michael was very much off on a music career, making his living writing songs,” Kevin said. “We tried to write a few together and it’s just kind of a natural extension that if you write them, you want to play them. A friend of ours from Philly had heard a demo … and said, ‘Why don’t you call yourselves The Bacon Brothers and come down to do a show?'”

They added a bass player and percussionist, while Kevin beefed up his guitar skills.

“That show turned into another show, somebody else asked us to come play, so it was a very small, grassroots beginning,” Kevin said. “It wasn’t as if I woke up one day and said, ‘Hmm, this is something I want to do with my life.’ It really evolved in an organic way.”

We ended our interview with a rapid-fire Q&A about Kevin’s most famous movies:

Degrees of Bacon

‘Animal House’ (1978)

“Sad news about [producer] Ivan [Reitman], who I’m very grateful to for giving me my first job in the movies,” Kevin said.

‘Friday the 13th’ (1980)

“I just saw ‘Friday the 13th: Part 8’ is out now and if they hadn’t killed him off, he’d probably still be in it,” Michael said.

‘Diner’ (1982)

“That was a really great moment,” Kevin said. “That’s one of those movies that the memories are so strong that the guys and I, our last Zoom was in the last six months. We still stay in touch and check in with each other and we’ve remained really good friends for a really long time.”

‘Footloose’ (1984)

“If only the soundtrack could have gotten out there and been hits, then it would have been better, but it tried,” Michael said, tongue in cheek.

‘A Few Good Men’ (1992)

“It was one of six or eight Jacks that I’ve played; I need to stop playing Jacks,” Kevin said.

‘The River Wild’ (1994)

“Loved making it,” Kevin said. “Spent a lot of time in the water, but that was a great part — great to work with that amazing cast: Meryl [Streep], David [Strathairn] and John C. [Reilly].”

‘Apollo 13’ (1995)

“That was such a part of history and such an amazing story,” Michael said. “The three of those guys were amazing together. Kevin got to fly in the vomit comet, too.”

‘Mystic River’ (2002)

“That was incredible,” Michael said.

WTOP's Jason Fraley chats with the Bacon Brothers (Part 2)

Hear our full conversation on my podcast “Beyond the Fame.”

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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