- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Like most older brothers, Michael Bacon insists he is always right. The 67-year-old member of The Bacon Brothers band is fond of nudging his famous brother, Kevin, with the wisdom of his years.

Kevin is smart enough to realize I’m always right,” Michael said when asked by The Washington Times how the brothers resolve disputes that may come up during their tours.

“That and we also have some dueling pistols that we keep around,” Kevin chimed in, as deadpan as possible.

Michael and Kevin Bacon, plus their backup musicians, are rolling into The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, for a three-night stand, beginning Friday. The brothers will play both originals — including their latest, “Broken Glass” — as well as cover tunes during their weekend in Northern Virginia.

The Bacons enjoyed another three-night stint at The Birchmere a year ago, and they call it a phenomenal club for an audience experience.

“They really, really care a lot about people hearing music as opposed to selling food or alcohol,” Kevin said of the venue. “It’s super artist-friendly. “You can get a lot of energy in the room. It’s big enough [that] you can feel a lot of energy, but it also can be like pin drops,” he said.

“We have played the Birchmere so many times, we don’t want people to expect exactly the same thing they saw last time,” Michael said, adding that a half-dozen new songs will be on the set lists. “We’re trying to switch it up, but it’s always the Bacon Brothers — two guys that write and sing their own songs.”

Furthermore, as native New Yorkers, Kevin and Michael enjoy Alexandria’s walkable waterfront entertainment and dining scene, and they will bunk down not far from The Birchmere during their stay.

“I love walking on the [Potomac],” Michael said of the Alexandria riverfront, adding he may also spend some time in the District’s numerous museums or even head to George Washington’s home at nearby Mt. Vernon.

While off the clock this weekend, the Bacons will also visit their sister, who happens to be a resident of the DMV.

The Bacons say their own sound has been influenced by country, rock and soul, all of which find their way into the cover songs within their sets.

“The thing about live music is that it’s never exactly the same. That’s what’s kind of fun about it,” Kevin said. “Sometimes the energy is a little different. [But] the jokes will be the same,” he said drily.

Kevin, known for his decadeslong acting career and his D.C.-based charity, SixDegrees.org, says he and his brother have been privileged to play alongside some of their heroes, such as The Band.

“We opened for them at Carnegie Hall when Levon [Helm] was alive,” Kevin said of the musician who died in 2012 at age 71. “We basically sort of opened for [Helm’s side band] and then … sat in with them for a little bit.”

While all families have disputes, very few of them can be so publicly beheld as those that occur among the famous. Michael said that he and Kevin are fortunate in that their relationship — professional and personal — has not suffered in the way as other famous singing siblings such as the Everly Brothers.

“The Everly Brothers didn’t speak for years. Oasis still don’t speak. Troubles with the Beach Boys. It kind of goes on and on and on,” he said.

“We should break up; maybe we’d be more successful,” Kevin added, making his brother chuckle.

“We’re pretty far apart in age. My theory is if you grow up and you’re Irish brothers and you’re a year apart, you’re probably going to [have] a lot of … battles for domination,” Michael said of the eight-year difference between himself and his younger sibling.

“I think, in a way, I was a big brother, but I was also a mentor just because I was so much older,” Michael said. “We got on each other’s nerves occasionally, but overall, when wagons gets circled, it’s Kevin and I in the middle.”

Kevin said one of the advantages of returning to a favored venue like The Birchmere is seeing many of the same fans who showed up at previous gigs, and some who return back night after night.

“You find certain venues where you’re just better known than others,” Kevin said. “You get a chance to play there multiple times, and the same people keep coming back. The Birchmere is just one of those places.”

“We just try to be ourselves and entertain the audience the best we can,” Michael said.

The Bacon Brothers perform Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at The Birchmere. Tickets are available by going to Birchmere.com.

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