Personnel: Michael Bacon (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, cello, percussion, background vocals); Kevin Bacon (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, percussion, background vocals); Ira Siegel (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, tiple, banjo, mandolin, background vocals); Paul Guzzone (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, ukulele, percussion, background vocals); Charlie Giordano (accordion, melodica, keyboards); James Frazee (keyboards); Frank Vilardi (drums, percussion).
Recording information: Melrose Music, Los Angeles, CA; Triple Z Music.
Photographer: Timothy White.
It's a platitude to denigrate "Hollywood" personalities' attempts at music. Indeed, every album from the Bacon Brothers has almost certainly met some automatic criticism. Every album has also, however, received mentions of surprise -- surprise that an actor can make straightforward, good music. By this point, it shouldn't be a surprise that Kevin Bacon can perform (and that brother Michael Bacon, a well-sought film scoring composer, could be more than a side act). The music on New Years Day is more varied than many previous albums, though. Roving from Philadelphia-inspired rock to simple summer melodies and beyond, it touches on a lot of stylistic areas, handling each form with an ego-free, well-characterized rendition. The album opens on the title track, an ode to Philadelphia's yearly Mummers parades, and something seemingly from Mick Jagger's solo recordings. This is blues-inflected rock & roll, hook-heavy with a polished finish. "Architeuthis" works itself into a seafaring ballad, complete with mournful accordion accompaniment. "Children" could stand in for a solid album track from the Wallflowers. Throughout the recording, the music delves into crossover areas between rock, blues, and folk, taking aesthetics from each to color strong performances. There are many artistic influences inherent in this music, but the created whole is something original. ~ Adam Greenberg