If you go

What: The Bacon Brothers

When: 8 p.m. June 15 and 16

Where: The Stanley Hotel 333 Wonderview Ave. Estes Park

Cost: $55

More info: stanleylive.com

One needs to have seen only a handful of the movies that have been released over the last 40 years to recognize Kevin Bacon. After all, the actor has more than 80 film and dozens more TV and stage credits to his name. Plus, he's so prolific that his persona inspired the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" parlor game in which movie buffs try to find the quickest link between celebrities and Bacon via movies they have in common.

(Photo courtesy Bacon Brothers The Bacon Brothers, seen here during a recent show, released their eponymous eighth album on June 1.)

It takes being a more serious fan, however, to know that Bacon also possesses considerable music talents and fronts a band with his brother, Michael, called the Bacon Brothers. The band, boasting a sound that spans "rock, soul, folk and Americana," is no passing gimmick, either. It's been touring since 1995 and has released eight albums, including an eponymous new releaseearlier this month.

Now, they've embarked on a 29-city summer tour that will take them to Estes Park and the Stanley Hotel's new Pavilion Amphitheater for two nights next week.


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Kevin and Michael Bacon spoke with A&E Spotlight ahead of the shows about the new album, musical inspirations and why they are looking forward to playing in Northern Colorado June 15-16.

Spotlight: Your ninth album was released at the start of the month. How would you describe the album and the direction you have taken with it?

Kevin Bacon: We worked with a new producer G.E. Smith on five of the songs and he brought something special to the mix. He shook it up a bit, and even though we are essentially the same band from 1995, it sounds fresh.

Michael Bacon: We had four songs in the can that we recorded at Lehman College studios, working with our engineer Steve Buonanotte. Lehman has a state-of the-art video technology and we shot three videos there.

Spotlight: The single on the new album is called "Tom Petty T-Shirt" and is built around that item and the symbolic role it plays in relationship. Where did the concept for that song come from? And did the recent death of Tom Petty play a role in your decision to release a song built around that image?

KB: The song came from a moment. Sitting in the living room, across from my wife, and feeling like I wanted to make her feel better. And Tom Petty had just passed so he was on my mind. But the song is more about getting through challenging times.

Spotlight: Are you looking forward to playing in Estes Park? What can your Colorado fans expect from those shows?

KB: It looks like a beautiful place. We have a great band backing us up. The show has lots of variety and we move from quiet moments to straight-up rockers. We have a lot of fun and want the audience to as well.

MB: As a 16-year-old frat rat at the University of Denver, we had lots of "retreats" at Estes. Funny how I don't remember much about them.

Spotlight: You guys are several years apart. Would you say you have the same musical tastes and inspirations or bring different ones to the table? How does that play out in your music?

KB: Mike has influences that I never related to, such as classical and show tunes, but I think we come together on our appreciation of a good song.

MB: Yes, we have a very different musical backgrounds and, at the same time, very similar ones.

Spotlight: You have been playing for a long time now and must have some good stories. Care to share one?

KB: We once played on a tiny island in the Caribbean and the generator was broken. We were told before the show that we could have sound or lights, but not both.

MB: We did a benefit at the top of Pike's Peak. We refused to be driven up so we hiked. Man, that was hard slogging through two feet of snow.

Spotlight: Kevin, do you find that your work as an actor influences and informs your work as a musician, or are they separate for you? How so?

KB: I think I'm a performer, but just like with acting, the best performances come when you feel emotionally connected to the material, which in that case is songs. You can be technically proficient but if you are not feeling it, it will be empty.

Spotlight: Michael, does your work as an Emmy-winning composer influence what you do with the band or do you consider those pursuits to be totally different?

MB: I'm trying to blend the two worlds a little more by writing out some arrangements for the guys. But as of now, these two skips have very little overlap. Film scoring is based on an unlimited source that can be turned off and on at will. Songwriting is far more elusive.

Spotlight: Anything else you want to share before these shows?

MB: I can't wait to get to Colorado! I haven't had a 3.2 beer in a long time. Is Tulagi's still open?

(Boulder's Tulagi's music venue closed in 2003.)

Paul Albani-Burgio: 970-699-5407, palbani-burgio@reporter-herald.com