Actor Kevin Bacon and his older brother Michael grew up in a family that celebrated music.
"Our dad was tone-deaf," Kevin Bacon says. "When he'd start to sing lullabies, we'd pretend to be asleep. Our mom played a little bit of mandolin, but it was more an appreciation of music. They really wanted us to put on a show, a dance, pick up an instrument. Creativity was put on a pedestal."
Both brothers took this artistic encouragement seriously. Michael, nine years older than Kevin, became a professional musician, playing gigs throughout their hometown of Philadelphia, with young Kevin tagging along whenever he could. Michael went on to become an accomplished composer for movies and television; he won an Emmy for his original score for The Kennedys. Kevin, of course, is best known for his successful career as an award-winning actor who has starred in iconic films such as Footloose and Apollo 13, the Fox show The Following,and, most recently, the Amazon series I Love Dick, in which he plays Jill Solway's cowboy/artist.
The brothers, who will perform in Stuart, Bimini, and Fort Myers on three tour stops in early June, came together as a band by accident, when, in the mid-'90s, a close friend of Kevin's heard one of their demos and suggested they play in a more formal setting.
"We both kind of looked at each other and said, 'Well, why not?'" Michael muses.
The Bacon Brothers began in small clubs up and down the East Coast, allowing things to evolve organically. "We just packed everybody in my station wagon. I was the manager, cook, driver, and everything else!" Michael laughs. "That was four of us. Now there are ten or 11 of us in a bus, so it kind of made its own way. I characterize it as a band that leads us around by the noses and we do the best we can to keep it going, but there's not a lot of real future planning; it just sort of unfolds as it will."
For all the lack of planning, they've garnered a loyal fan base and accumulated an impressive and eclectic array of music in their eight 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), and 36 Cents (2014).
It's impossible to pigeonhole their music, and both brothers seem rather pleased with that fact.
"You'd go to the record store — there used to be record stores, you know — and there'd be bins, like the funk bin or the rock bin, and people would ask what bin our music would go into," Kevin recalls. That's when they made up their own category, "forosoco," which stands for "folk, rock, soul, and country," a term they connected with so strongly it became the title of their first album. "It was kind of a joke, but kind of not a joke. Those are the influences, and a lot of the stuff we play fits into that overall category."
The Bacon Brothers will perform at Resorts World Bimini June 2 as part of the resort's Endless Summer Concert Series, which began May 19 with the American soul and hip-hop group Dru Hill and American R&B quartet 112. Resorts World Bimini is a quick puddle-jumper ride away on the island of North Bimini, Bahamas, just 50 miles from Miami. Admission to all Endless Summer concerts is included in guests' resort stay. "We've never been, but we hear it's a lovely place," Michael says. The brothers will also play in Stuart June 1 and Fort Myers June 3.
Attendees can expect the band's medley of rock, country, folk, and soul, as well as at least four new songs, including the single "Broken Glass." They will also project a video of "Boys in Bars," from their first album, and sing along to it.
"It's funny because you see us 25 years later, and, um, people can just go running to the exits!" Kevin jokes about their aged appearance.
No one is running away. The Bacon Brothers' sound is heartfelt and personal, their deep history as siblings and creative professionals clearly apparent. Kevin, whose musical proficiency was not at par with his brother's when the band began performing in 1995, has caught up. "My relationship with my instruments is really as a tool to write," he admits humbly.
Michael is quick to straighten things out: "I don't consider myself a better musician at all, just better trained."
What is clear is their passion for the craft and their fondness for working together. "The first song that I ever wrote, I had the melody and lyrics in my head, but I didn't know how to play it," Kevin recalls. "I sing it for Mike, and he picks up a guitar and picks a key and starts to play some changes around the song. That was a great moment, because I was like, Ah, ok! This is a song!"
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE...
Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.