Back in 1995 the Bacon Brothers, Michael and actor Kevin, decided to form a touring and recording band. Kevin's reputation precedes him from exposure in hit films including "A Few Good Men", "Footloose", "Animal House", "Diner", "Apollo 13."
The Bacon Brothers cut their musical teeth in Philadelphia coffeehouses. Ever since the boys have toured for 50+ shows a year, throwing in the occasional national tour or one with groups such as The Band (at Carnegie Hall), Shania Twain, and a television special with Haitian hip hop star Wyclef Jean.
Michael is a good musician and songwriter. The brothers write together about their lives and relationships. It's a mixed blessing, I suppose, to be in a band with your movie star brother, but then again, for these siblings it could be construed as apples and oranges. Audiences soon find that Michael is as lovable and talented as his bro.
"When we first started, the people who attended our shows came strictly to see Kevin Bacon, the movie star," says Michael in their tour publicity release. "Now people come to see and hear the Bacon Brothers."
The Bacon Brothers perform four sold-out shows Friday and Saturday nights at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis.
Contemporary soul singer Lyfe Jennings performs "positive music" from his forthcoming new release titled "Lyfe Change" with special guests Wyclef Jean, Snoop Dogg and T.I. in the mix. "I'm considered to be an R&B cat because I'm a soul singer, but I also enjoy rock, jazz, and all kinds of music," says Jennings in his advance press release.
He's out to make a difference in the lives of his listeners.
"My music has always been positive, touching people socially and emotionally," he says. "But I named this album 'Lyfe Change' because this time I wanted to take it a step further and invoke people to make a change in their lives and in the lives of others. That's how we'll change the world, one life at a time."
Lyfe Jennings appears on Friday night at the Howard Theatre in Washington (8 p.m.).
Also Friday night, The Funk Junkies are back at Rams Head Live! in Baltimore (7:30 p.m.). The Baltimore quintet plays screamin' hard rock with three other bands on the bill (not to be confused with a 15-piece New York cover band of the same name).
Also reaching for the funky side of hardcore punk and landing somewhere in the land of perhaps more palpable pop, Fall Out Boy and Paramore team for a double bill at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia (5:30 p.m.).
If you want a truly great funk and soul cover band just head on over to Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club for a couple of solid sets from The Soul Crackers featuring Tommy Lepson on Friday (8 p.m.). Also performing with the Soul Crackers on this show is the lovely Mary Ann Redmond who can really belt out a soul classic. The dance floor will be open all night!
Bad Company evolved in the early 1970s from members of various British bands, including "All Right Now" singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke from bluesy rock outfit Free, guitarist Mick Ralphs of glam rock band Mott the Hoople, and Boz Burrell a bassist and singer who had played with mid-period King Crimson (beating out Bryan Ferry and Elton John at the Crimson auditions. Burrell also had been a replacement for Roger Daltrey in The Who for a minute.)
The erstwhile super group, managed by maniacal Peter Grant (Led Zeppelin), made a string of hugely successful hit singles including "Bad Company", "Can't Get Enough", "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" and "Feel Like Makin' Love." While it could be argued that the sound didn't age all that well in comparison with other classic rock acts, everything old is new again and with the help of a strong presence on cable television of rock concerts by aging rockers these guys are doing all right once again.
Lynyrd Skynyrd will forever be the quintessential southern rock band known for their epic arena staple "Free Bird," but they had a number of other solid songs that still resonate with the faithful ("Saturday Night Special", "That Smell", "Give Me Three Steps" and, of course, "Sweet Home Alabama").
Also this Saturday night, De La Soul performs their positive brand of mid-80s East Coast dance party hip-hop at The Howard Theatre (8 p.m.), and D.C.'s 12-piece Afro-funk rhythm ambassadors Chopteeth appear at Black Rock Center for the Arts (free 7 p.m. concert).
Old School soul sextet New Edition and sassy and sweet Salt N Pepa reunite to bring back the love at Baltimore Arena Saturday night (8 p.m.). And they'll be some jamming and solid songwriting on display as Rockville rock stars O.A.R. teams with "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips ("Home") for a double bill at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday (5 p.m.).
The National Symphony Orchestra performs the music from the epic film "2001: A Space Odyssey" in front of the big screen at Wolf Trap's Filene Center on Saturday in Vienna, Va. (8 p.m.), while Rams Head Live! welcomes Bowie folk-meets-punk upstarts Wise Eyes with three other bands for a Saturday show (7 p.m.).
Don't miss New Orleans band The Iguanas as they return with a new album "Juarez" to Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on Sunday (8 p.m.). The Iguanas reflected the diversity of musical styles found in their home state by fusing blues, classic R&B, zydeco, Cajun, Tex-Mex, and roots rock 'n' roll.
San Francisco rock singer-guitarist Rod Hodges rediscovered the Mexican "conjunto" music that was a part of his mother's heritage. He learned to play the accordion and together with singer-saxophonist Joe Cabral, who was inspired by his father's Mexican band, they forged a roots connection between the Mexican polka, Chicago blues, and New Orleans R&B. Hooking up with New Orleans bassist Rene Coman (Alex Chilton, Guitar Slim Jr., and Willy DeVille) was a no-brainer.
Former D.C. saxophonist Derek Huston was also in the original Iguanas lineup. Annapolis roots duo Swampcandy featuring Ruben Dobbs and Joey Mitchell opens the show Sunday night.
There is a very special benefit performance Sunday night for Washington area singer Grace Griffith, who has struggled with Parkinson's disease while forging on heroically to create a new album. Griffith has an exceptionally beautiful voice and is familiar to D.C. audiences from her solo work and her projects with Susan Graham White and the Celtic groups Ocean and Connamara.
Griffith was friends with the late Eva Cassidy and they shared a record label that released their albums. For this most recent release, Griffith has teamed with Chris Biondo who played in Cassidy's band. Biondo, Lenny Williams and Marcy Marxer worked for two years to help Griffith piece together vocal lines and backing tracks in order to complete the new album, which has turned out beautifully, Parkinson's be damned. (My mother passed last week after a long battle with Parkinson's disease and I can attest to its power to debilitate and depress.)
The lineup for the concert for Griffith at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria includes a long list of regional favorites such as Al Petteway, Marcy Marxer, Lynn Holyfield, Zan McCloud, Cathy Fink, Lisa Moscatiello and Debi Smith, plus many more. Griffith will perform as well!
Proceeds from the concert will provide therapies for Grace Griffith and you can purchase tickets at the Birchmere.com website. Her new CD is called "Passing Through" and it's available from Blix Street Records. (Learn more about Parkinson's disease at
Other Sunday shows include Advanced Funk as part of the Capital Fringe Festival featuring soul jazz group Backbeat Underground and Ethiopian jazz and funk outfit Feedel Band as they perform at The Baldacchino at Fort Fringe in D.C. (8:45 p.m. show, with dancing until 1 a.m.).
Huey Lewis & The News with special guest Marc Broussard appears at Wolf Trap on Sunday (8 p.m.), Carsie Blanton is at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington (8 p.m.), and John Hiatt and The Combo double up with the Robert Cray Band at the Music Hall at Strathmore in North Bethesda (8 p.m.).
Look for the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band Zepparella to play a show Monday night at Rams Head On Stage (8 p.m.).
Adam Lambert's sidekick CeeLo Green appears with classic soul crooner Lionel Richie for an evening of solo and Commodores hits plus a strong dose of his newest foray into country music. CeeLo will keep the evening funky, whatever your music tastes are. The All Hits, All Night Long Tour plays Wolf Trap for two nights (8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday).
Get together with the world's first classically-trained garage band Tuesday night at Rams Head On Stage as Time For Three performs classical from Bach to Brahms plus classic covers of The Beatles, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake (8 p.m.).
Also this Tuesday, don't miss the Mars 4-Tet with Jeff Antoniuk on sax and special guest Jimmy Haslip on electric bass as they turn it up a notch at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club (7:30 p.m.). Haslip was a founding member of the Grammy Award winning Yellowjackets and currently tours and records with Jeff Lorber Fusion. He has performed with jazz and pop legends such as Bruce Hornsby, Pat Metheny, Bonnie Raitt, Al Jarreau, Allan Holdsworth, Donald Fagan and the late Tommy Bolin.
Bass Guitar magazine calls Haslip "an improviser of extraordinary depth." He'll perform with the MARS 4-tet band's acclaimed players: Antoniuk, guitarist Donato Soviero and drummer Frank Russo. The concert kicks off Maryland's top rated adult jazz camp and festival. Now celebrating its 10th aniversary, the event draws musicians and jazz lovers from both coasts to its workshops, jams and concerts.
More Tuesday shows next week include Sun Kil Moon (formerly the Red House Painters) at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue (8 p.m.), and the annual Vans Warped Tour at Merriweather Post Pavilion featuring a million bands, including Air Dubai, Less Than Jake, May Day Parade (11 a.m.).
Next Wednesday and Thursday, The Time Jumpers, featuring Vince Gill and Ranger Doug Green, perform for at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis.
The Time Jumpers is a band of highly successful Nashville session cats formed in 1998 as an excuse to get together and jam. It was at the storied Station Inn bluegrass club that the guys gathered to play country, swing, jazz and pop standards. Needless to say the dates were popular and a magnet for stars sitting in such as Robert Plant, Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt, The White Stripes and Jimmy Buffett, to name just a few.
So The Time Jumpers decided to take their party on the road. The traveling contingent is made up of 11 members and they can all flat out play. So if you're lucky, you've got ticket for a seat at one of these shows.