The Bacon Brothers

Live: The No Food Jokes Tour

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Food jokes won't be the ones that most people unfamiliar with the Bacon Brothers will be cracking. Unfortunately, most casual listeners will immediately dismiss this as a novelty item alongside other established actors who have tried to branch out into the music world (Dogstar, anyone?) with mixed results. In this instance, it's a situation where a stellar actor (who seemingly has an infinite connection to everyone in the free universe tracing back to Alexander the Great) and his brother formed a band. Those who can get past this element of novelty will be pleasantly surprised with this double live disc. For several years the Bacon Brothers have been touring and recording relentlessly, releasing a high-quality blend of rootsy folk/Americana that demands to be taken beyond the conception that this is just a side thing for brother Kevin to pursue in between movies. And the quality shows right from the get-go, with tracks that could be traced back to the Jayhawks, Jimmy Buffett, and Wilco as influences. The first disc finds the band getting its feet wet and adapting to the audience, and it takes until the second disc for the band to lighten up and have the most fun, especially with a nod to one of Kevin's most successful movies (Footloose) and an Everly Brothers medley. The between-song banter is a bit dry and seems a bit forced at times (something redeemed by a very in-depth interview at the end of the second disc), but the recording quality and performances are exceedingly high for a live album and overlook that fact. Get past the jokes and you'll be pleasantly surprised how focused the Bacon Brothers are as songwriters and musicians.

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