Bacon Brothers sizzle with sound

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Entertainment,Music,Nancy Dunham

To hear Kevin Bacon tell it, his brother, Michael, is the true star of the family.

Sure, we all know Kevin Bacon from his many movie and television roles, including his new Fox series, "The Following," but the music of Michael Bacon, who is an accomplished and revered composer for film and television, is arguably as well-known as his younger brother.

"It is difficult sometimes," said Kevin Bacon, whose brother taught him to play guitar when the two were growing up in Philadelphia, of those who dismiss the music they make due to his celebrity. "Some people, a handful of people, heard about us or saw some of our recordings and thought it was a vanity project or a silly exercise. But what's going on is that we love making music together. It's a bit of an ongoing struggle [to be taken seriously], but I always knew it would be. We just keep chipping away."

As corny as it sounds, the chipping away has been a lifelong pursuit for the brothers. Kevin says that when he was just a young kid, he'd often hear melodies in his head. He would share those with his brother, who would then create songs from them. Soon, Michael taught Kevin to play guitar. Although acting became his vocation, he never lost the joy he originally found in playing music.

Onstage
The Bacon Brothers with Cindy Alexander
» When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday
» Where: The Birchmere Music Hall, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
» Info: Shows sold out as of press time, but tickets may still be available through resellers; 703-549-7500; birchmere.com

Yet both brothers admit it is difficult to juggle what amounts to two full-time careers each, along with personal and family responsibilities. Kevin finds time to write when he's shooting but not required on set. Michael sometimes tries to reserve occasional weekends to write. As difficult as the schedules can be, the two are clearly devoted to the pursuit. as evidenced by their regular touring schedule -- including at the aptly named Baconfest held recently in Florida -- and consistent release of albums.

So just what does keep them going?

"We grew up in Philly, a real music town with great rock and roll playing everywhere," said Kevin Bacon. "I was always listening to the stuff my brothers brought home -- the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and then some with real heavy soul influences. [Playing is a great way] to keep my mind open. I enjoy seeing what is out there."

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Nancy Dunham

Examiner Correspondent
The Washington Examiner