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Anthem welcomes a double helping of Bacon
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Anthem welcomes a double helping of Bacon

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Growing up in Philadelphia, Kevin Bacon would ricochet between listening to radio stations specializing in rock and roll and ones devoted to funky Philly soul.

A bit later, Bacon befriended the son of a venue owner who was able to snag tickets to live shows featuring the likes of everyone from B.B. King, Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin.

Despite this musical knowledge, Bacon doesn't bat an eye when people come up to him, saying, "We didn't know you could sing."

"The public knows me only as an actor," the star of such movies as "Footloose," "Apollo 13" and "X-Men: First Class" said. "They have no expectations of my music."

This is despite the fact that Bacon and his older brother Michael -- a prominent musician, college professor and prolific film score composer -- have been performing professionally as The Bacon Brothers for more than 25 years.

To be fair, the two siblings began playing music together by the time Bacon turned 9.

"Being the youngest of six kids, I wanted to be like my older siblings," he said. "Mike played music and I wanted to be like Mike."

The Bacon Brothers will be coming to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Anthem, 111 Third St., for an 8 p.m. concert on Saturday.

But don't ask Bacon to define their sound.

"When we released our first album (in 1997), we called it 'Forosoco' because our music was a mix of folk, rock, soul and country," he said. 

This eclectic formula seems to have worked. The Bacon Brothers have released nine albums since "Forosoco."

Plus with 10 albums under their belts, the Bacons have been able to avoid the pitfalls associated with sibling acts like the Gallagher brothers of Oasis and the Wilson brothers from the Beach Boys.

"Mike and I work well because there is a mutual respect," Bacon said. "Even though he is an accomplished musician, Mike knows I bring something different to the act despite me being a self-trained musician."

Indeed, Bacon's 30-plus years career as an actor has taught him to collaborate.

"People think of actors as being self-involved but we tend to be collaborative by nature," he explained.

That was especially true when Bacon began his acting career as a New York-based stage actor in the early 1980s.

"I know my stage work has really help to feel comfortable on a concert stage," he said. "You're sharing a lot when performing your own music. If you have a few butterflies before a show, you can use it to your advantage." 

If there are similarities between performing music in concert to playing a scene in a play, Bacon said recording an album is similar to moviemaking.

"When you're recording a song, you can always do a take two,"  he said. "You can really perfect a performance because you can do it over again."

Even though he has nearly 100 TV and movie credits to his name, Bacon has never gotten a "rep" for being a stereotypical movie star. Married to actress Kyra Sedgwick for more than 30 years, the couple has two kids, including Sosie Bacon, whose acting credits included TV's "13 Reasons Why" and "Mare of Easttown."

"Kyra and I knew show business would always be tough on kids," Bacon said. "Kyra and I got into acting with our eyes open. Our kids? They were just born into show business."

Which is why Bacon and Sedgwick seldom exposed their children to movies they starred in.

"My kids know acting is just what their parents did for a living," Bacon said. "Especially when they were younger, it wasn't such a big deal to them."

Something that was a big deal was Bacon's growing confidence in the kitchen.

"With the pandemic, everybody was stuck at home," he said. "Even though I'm not much of a recipe-follower, I do pretty well by making chili, pizza and Asian food."

According to Bacon, Sedgwick is very adept at baking. 

"Kyra has been on a kick where's she making pound cake a lot," he said. "It is a totally comfort food version of pound cake. Kyra is convinced that each time she makes one, it is her best pound cake ever.

"Kyra may tweak the ingredients a bit and I still can't tell any difference," Bacon said. "Don't get me wrong. I love my wife's pound cake  but it is still pound cake."

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