The Bacon Brothers – Ballad Of The Brothers (Forosoco/Forty Below)

The Bacon Brothers are Kevin and Michael, two lads from Philly, one of whom you may have seen at the cinema, the other has a Emmy to his name.

Together Michael and Kevin have been making music, on and off for the better part of three decades. During their “off” time, Kevin plied his trade as an actor, starring in films such as Footloose, Diner, A Few Good Men and Apollo 13. Meanwhile, older brother Michael has been making music on his own since the 1970s (check out his beautiful slice of pre-Americana titled Texas Cowboy) and composing film and TV scores.

Ballad Of The Brothers is the duo’s 12th release and it’s a keeper. Over the course of 11 tracks, the Bacon Boys serve up a delicious smorgasbord of folk, rock, soul and country…what they call, “Forosoco”.

The album kicks off with a rocker titled Take Off This Tattoo featuring an 80-style guitar riff that chugs along nicely until, surprise, a fiddle, chimes in.

It is indicative of the musical direction of the album, which is, pretty much pointing everywhere.

Put Your Hand Up is a bit of Philly soul, with Motown-style horns, while Dreams of The San Joaquin is a country/folk ballad enhanced by the harmony vocals of Cindy Alexander.

Mind you, Kevin and Michael sound pretty good together throughout the records…it’s that sibling thing that is always special…and Kevin’s spouse Kyra Sedgwick can be heard on Airport Bar, along with Kevin’s harmonica.

Looking for a cover? It seems that everyone is taking on a Pat Benatar tune these days. The Bacon Brothers’ version of We Belong rates high among them…right up there with Mick Harvey’s Love Is A Battlefield.

The album picks up steams as it moves along with Michael’s Let That Be Enough hitting a dreamy note before the autobiographical title track…a Texas-style  The Devil Went Down To Georgia that leads into a lovely, jazz-tinged, instrumental called Freestanding before wrapping with the 7-minute Live With The Lie, a 50s-style ballad that will leave you crying in the chapel.

With Kevin Bacon’s notoriety as an actor, one might be tempted to writing this off as a vanity project, but that would be a mistake, as it quickly become clear that these two are a serious about their music as their film work.

Marty Duda

The Bacon Brothers’ Ballad Of The Brothers is released Friday, April 19th.