Actor Kevin Bacon has enjoyed an illustrious career, one that is getting yet another boost with his newest Fox TV series, the psychological thriller The Following . A Connecticut resident who is married to actress Kyra Sedgwick, the 54-year-old has another passion: music. Between their day jobs, Bacon and his brother, Michael, an award-winning film and TV composer, and the rest of The Bacon Brothers Band, which specializes in country and folk rock and employs instruments including mandolins, acoustic guitars and a cello, squeeze in gigs around the country. On March 26, the show is in Connecticut at Infinity Hall in Norfolk. With the mantra “what you see is what you get,” the talented duo and the rest of the band will not only be performing for the audience, but will also be taped by CPTV for its Infinity Hall Live series.
Take me to the first time you two remember playing music together.
Kevin: Michael is nine years older than me, so I grew up listening to him in the house both playing and writing and singing. I didn’t really play anything, but would listen to him and my older sister, Hilda. The first thing I remember doing is banging on some drums. He had a band, and when I was 12 or 13 he asked me to back him up on the drums. The cover picture of us on some of our first records, I was probably only 12. I loved being on stage. I was on stage first as a musician rather than an actor. The first song he taught me to play on the guitar was “Hey Jude.”
As siblings and as musicians, who is the leader and who is the follower?
Kevin: He is the older brother so I guess he is, although we are pretty democratic about things. Michael often takes the lead on things on business. We do have creative differences, but we are pretty respectful of each other. The band as a whole has been a core group for a while and we involve them in decisions, too. But we feel like the buck stops with us.
You have been together as a band for more than 15 years. Are you surprised at the success?
Michael: We never really had much of a plan, and it just seems to have a life of its own. We didn’t make any plans for the amount of time—we like to think the band leads us around.
Kevin: I think that’s a pretty good explanation. We don’t really stop, and we don’t look back that much. The thing that’s surprising is not our longevity, but that over the years we were able to write five albums. The first album we did was stuff that had been lying around. I never imagined that all of a sudden late in life we would be doing the lion’s share of songwriting. Songwriting is kind of elusive.
What were your best moments as a band?
Michael: I can think of one particular job where we were booked at Carnegie Hall as the opening band for another act. We got the call three days before we were supposed to perform and our bass player was out of the country. We decided to just perform as a three-piece band—I think we did it pretty well. The best was singing with Levon Helm on stage.
Kevin: I have to say performing with Levon and those guys who were my idols was the best.
We did a show pretty early in the band’s career in California. It was for Elizabeth Taylor’s 60th birthday. Michael Jackson was there, Roseanne Barr was on a float. It was a bizarre night. We were going to do a song with Martina McBride and somehow, between going backstage and coming out, my guitar got really out of tune. It was just a disaster, but I don’t know if Elizabeth noticed.
You’ve played Infinity Hall before. Glad to be back?
Kevin: It is a fantastic place, a beautiful place with really good food. When you live up in that corner of the state, you are grateful to have it up there.
How does being brothers benefit your band?
Kevin: We are brothers first—that is one of the bonuses. We get to share a little bit of our relationship with an audience. People are sometimes interested in things that are similar and different between us.
Michael: Kevin and I are very gifted to have each other. Our dad loved it when we played together and was a huge supporter. Our four sisters are equally supportive.
You both have new projects. Kevin, your new TV show and Michael a PBS documentary. Share?
Kevin: I am happy about the new TV series, The Following. It is good to be on TV.
Michael: The documentary is about the Morgenthau family, the youngest, Robert, was a DA in New York, and his father was Secretary of the Treasury during WWII and generally given credit for holding our hand during the Jewish situation in Europe. I am scoring it and it is on in the spring.
Tickets for the show are $60 and $80. For information, visit infinityhall.com
You can hear her on WDRC AM and FM on Friday mornings and see her on Fox CT on Thursdays.