There’s a certain romance associated with brother bands. It must be something about the strength — or the volatility — of the bond between siblings. From the Everly Brothers to Oasis, from the Beach Boys to the Kinks (who were banned from performing in the U.S. from ’65 to ’69 after some onstage brotherly disagreements blossomed into a full-on brawl mid-performance), audiences keep dropping the needle on songs by siblings.
Brothers Michael and Kevin Bacon (yes, that Kevin Bacon) have played music together for more than 20 years, so it should come as no surprise that their arrangements are tight. They have honed their songwriting and arranging craft through years of touring and over the course of recording their seven studio albums, and the Bacon Brothers are bringing their act to Memphis for a concert at Germantown Performing Art Center this Wednesday night.
The group really shines as a vocal act. Their harmonies seem to come effortlessly, indubitably the result of a lifetime spent singing together. Both Bacon brothers have strong, clear voices with just enough grit to keep them from sounding too polished. The siblings are gifted arrangers, usually sticking to simple acoustic guitar arrangements (with occasional flare from cello, accordion, mandolin, or auxiliary percussion) that give their voices room to breathe.
The Bacon Brothers were special guests on Daryl’s House
back in 2013, which makes sense, as they could be easily compared to early-period Hall & Oates. This is easy-like-Sunday-morning music, warm and enveloping layers of vocal and guitar harmonies arranged too artfully to be cluttered.
For a quick listen before the show, check out the Bacon Brothers’ cover of the Beatles’ “If I Needed Someone,” recorded at Paste
magazine’s studio in New York. The Harrison-penned, Revolver
-era track is an ideal vehicle for the Bacon Brothers’ easy harmonies and experimentation with unorthodox instrumentation. Or check out the music video for their original track “Broken Glass,” which was written and directed by Kevin Bacon, who is no stranger to film.
The Bacon Brothers will perform at Germantown Performing Arts Center Wednesday, June 14th at 7:30 p.m. $35-$75.