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REVIEW: Bacon Brothers rockin' secrets revealed

The Bacon brothers could easily quit their day jobs.

Of course, we hope they don’t.

Both are accomplished in their respective fields – Michael, 62, as an award-winning composer for television and film and Kevin, 52, for making a splash whenever his megawatt smile hits the silver screen.

But when they leave Hollywood behind and pool their talents with their band, they create a magical musical explosion  onstage.

They rocked onto the Riverside Casino Event Center on Saturday night (2/12/2011), bathed in a shower of shrieks from the female fans wild to see their favorite “Footloose” actor. Ninety minutes later, all genders and ages in the nearly sold-out crowd of 1,150 or so people were on their feet clapping, cheering and singing along.

The celebrated siblings and their stellar band mates have half a dozen of the best CDs you’ve never heard under their belts. They slip easily between genres, making their music hard to describe but easy to embrace. They call it “forosoco”  — a blend of folk, rock, soul and country. I just call it cool.

Like rock? You’ll love the retro edge of Kevin’s super-fueled “Woodstock 99.” Country more your style? You’ll dig “I’d Write a Song,” where slide guitar wraps around Michael’s stripped down, plaintive baritone, and his new piece, “Whole Lotta Shade.”

For folkies, it doesn’t get much better than Kevin’s ode to a giant squid, “Architeuthis,” launched with Michael’s gorgeous “prelude to a squid” on cello. Surrounded by acoustic guitars and Kevin on bodhran, the whole thing takes on a Celtic vibe capturing the haunting quality plumbing the ocean’s mysterious depths.

If soul is your thing, you’ll get your groove on with the bluesy “Only a Good Woman,” where Kevin uses his rakish charms to explain what it takes to be a man.

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They have many more moods, too, with a reggae island feel on “Bunch of Words,” which Kevin wrote at the beach, promising warmer times and climes; Michael’s glorious cello and Kevin’s poetic lyrics on “Go My Way”; the funky beat of the new “Why Do Northeast Girls Love Florida”; and the kicky novelty songs “36 Cents” and “Strung Out (On You Baby),” dedicated to the bachelorette party girls in the audience.

Kevin and Michael are the real deal – terrific singers, masters of multiple instruments and pensive, polished songwriters. Add Ira Siegel on various guitars, Paul Guzzone on bass, Frank Vilardi on drums  and Kevin’s unending energy, then sit back and watch the fireworks.

The Bacon Brothers could be major rock stars, but something tells me they’re having more fun being one of the best-kept secrets in the industry.

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