The Bacon Brothers serve up sizzlin’ soft rock
The Bacon Brothers(with Michael Tiernan opening)
7 p.m. Nov. 20
Belly Up Tavern
143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach
By Alex Garin
ContributorIt’s easy to recognize Kevin Bacon as that actor who can be traced to anyone in the world without using more than six reference points. Given the overwhelming failure of actors in music, it’s not as easy to mentally connect the Hollywood actor as a viable musician at first look. Michael Bacon, on the other hand, has spent most of his life working in the music industry. Together, along with bassist Paul Guzzone and drummer Marshall Rosenberg, the brothers form the surprisingly adept Bacon Brothers band.
They are due to play six, or more, degrees of soft rock at the Belly Up Tavern on Nov. 20.
The Bacon Brothers, however, weren’t always known as the soft rock virtuosos they are know as today.
While Kevin was being shot to the moon in “Apollo 13" and fighting to restore small town dancing rights in “Footloose,” Michael was playing in bands like Good News, producing musical scores for television and releasing two solo albums of his own. The lesser-known Bacon brother has also collaborated with Tom Waits.
Together, the brothers make music that is earnest, relaxed and, at times, cloyingly overproduced.
Kevin and Michael founded the Bacon Brothers band strictly to play at a charity event in Philadelphia, their hometown.
The hometown beginnings turned into commercial success. Kevin and Michael have released five albums to date. Played in chronological succession, these five albums can effectively chronicle the Bacon Brothers’ musical development.
The Bacon Brothers debuted their first album, “Forosoco,” in 1997. The name of the album itself is made up of the first two letters of the genre pool in which they intend to draw from (folk, rock, soul and country.)
If the name of the album was supposed to illustrate its sound, the album should have been called Coro. The brother’s first musical venture puts heavy emphasis on country music and rock music to a lesser extent. Much of “Forosco” sounds like a Conway Twitty album that was overly produced by Jon Bon Jovi (who makes an appearance).
The brothers, in their initial effort, show traces of genuine talent and potential. Despite lack of the depth promised by the title, the Bacon Brothers’ first musical venture rises above most other albums that feature a Hollywood celebrity, like Dogstar’s “Our Little Visionary,” which featured Keanu Reeves playing bass guitar.
“Getting There,” the brother’s second release, offers a much more eclectic feel than their first album. Here, and in their third album, “Can’t Complain,” the brothers musically branch out while managing to keep their soft rock credentials strongly intact.
“White Knuckles,” the Bacons’ final album, was released in 2005. It establishes the half-famous brothers as true soft-rock heroes in their own right. It’s their most eclectic album to date. “White Knuckles” sounds like a James Taylor album on occasion and a remix of Glenn Campbell at times.