Steven Bacon
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Steven Bacon

Freeport, Maine, United States

Freeport, Maine, United States
Band Folk Alternative

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"Keith Sykes' review of Steven's latest CD,"

"Steven has the quality I admire the most, originality. I always love it when I hear a song once and I know I like it. I see a bright future for this new songwriter." - Keith Sykes

Keith is a Memphis based publisher, producer and songwriter who discovered Todd Snider, co-writes with John Prine, and recently recorded an album with John Prine and Iris Dement.
- .


"Maine Songwriters Association Newsletter"

"...a deep, clear, cool pool of songwriting talent; quiet grooves, soothing vocals, lyrics from out of the heartland..." - Bob Mckillip, Maine Songwriters Association Newsletter, May 24 2005. - Bob Mckillip


"Comments from a Poet Laureate"

"Carl Sandburg said he heard America Singing when he listened to The Weavers. If he were still around, he'd be saying that about Steven Bacon. Steven's songs are rooted in the American folk tradition, but they speak with a compelling contemporary voice--so carefully crafted they are, so gently urgent and insistent with their freshly painted images of wounded America, of loneliness, love, hope and desire. When you hear Steve sing and play, you have to pay attention. And with each listening, it only gets better." --John Perrault , 2003 Portsmouth NH Poet Laureate, author of "The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse," and "Here Comes the Old Man Now.") - John Perrault


"Peter Mulvey"


"It's good to see a writer taking on the big topics-- God and country, the state of the interior soul and the national one." -Peter Mulvey, singer / songwriter. - www.petermulvey.com


"Local Bacon Complements the Brothers"

The following review can be also read at the Boston Music Spotlight website at:

http://www.bostonmusicspotlight.com/article.php?id=1624

"Local Bacon Complements the Brothers"

Two days before the release of New Year's Day the Bacon Brothers didn't waste a lot of time on their fan-favorites, but played almost every song off their upcoming album. The area in front of the stage was filled with tables and chairs at Showcase Live! in Foxboro on Friday night, indicating that the Bacon Brothers show was going to be a sit-down sort of event.

The band opened the show with "Tell Me What I Have to Do", a song off the new album which comes out on itunes this week. Kevin banged his tambourine against a cowbell for part of this one and both he and Michael sang while the rest of the talented crew played their instruments to create a full, enjoyable alt-country rock sound that sampled everything from reggae to southern rock to Celtic music over the course of the night.

Kevin joked about the popularity of the topics he writes his music on, "Which is why so many of our songs are on the radio right now". He then told the story behind "Architeuthis", a song written about a giant squid that was filmed and featured on the Discovery Channel. Kevin described how researchers brought their cameras down, like underwater paparazzi, to videotape the large sea creature. Michael then brought out the cello, bowed and plucked it with trancelike dexterity, taking the audience on a journey to that dark, dreamy lair of the squid.

Kevin's throaty growl on "Too Old for Playboy" was a stark contrast, as Kevin told the audience about how he was rejected for Playboy because the editors wanted to gear the publication towards a younger audience. Although that's not actually what the song is about, the story was as funny as the song itself. The band was a little low-energy for some of their other songs, but was very lively for this one, and Kevin rocked it out on vocals as he danced around the stage, shaking the tambourine.

Due to their lack of singing, it is suspect whether most of the attendees had ever heard the band's music before. The songs were so varied it wasn't evident what the group's distinct style was or should be. However, "Write a Song" was perfect for Michael's voice, and it seemed that a Jimmy Buffet does country sort of sound really worked for them.

The title track to the new album "New Year's Day" stood out among their set list. The charming chorus is reminiscent of Albert Hammond's "It Never Rains in Southern California" and, although the song has more of a summery quality, it focuses on the Mummer Parade which takes place in the brothers' hometown of Philadelphia every New Year's.

Opening act and local busker Steven Bacon turned out to be a welcome addition to the evening. The comforting sound of the Boston-based/Alaska native singer-songwriter's warm voice washed over the venue at a strolling tempo. Armed with his acoustic guitar and harmonica (in its neck rack), Steven serenaded the audience with folk music that was surprisingly disarming.

Right-away Steven informed the audience that he was not related to the Bacon Brothers, but that he and Kevin did have one thing in common, "We both have a brother with the last name Bacon."

He only played four songs, but his comedic left-wing banter charmed the Democrats in the building, and even the Republicans in attendance probably couldn't deny his talent. During his song "Proud to be an American" with the lyric "I'm Proud to be an American for the first time in eight years," he jokingly asked for specific help with the chorus, "Now just the Democrats".

Steven described how he emailed Michael Bacon about himself and inquired about opening for them in Foxboro, "I told him we could pretend I'm a Bacon Brother. That it would be good for press." Whatever he really told him, it must have worked.

Following Steven Bacon's act was another singer-songwriter with local ties, Amy Fairchild, whose career began in Northampton. Ironically her song "Falling Down" was the most upbeat song and best in her set. She joked about Steven, "He was very uplifting, and I'll do my best to take you down." True to her words, her songs were heavy and sad, and although she has a sweet voice, much of the audience, in the mood for something more lighthearted, began conversing with each other in anticipation for the headliner during her performance.

For their closer, the Bacon Brothers brought both opening acts Amy Fairchild and Steven Bacon on stage to help them with their cover of the Rolling Stones' "The Last Time", where they threw in the lyrics, "I have to go, because I'm headed down to Foxboro." Some members of the crowd were disappointed they didn't play "Footloose", but by the glow on his face, it was apparent that Steven Bacon couldn't have been happier.

by Amy Hamblen
11/10/2008
- Boston Music Spotlight


"For this street musician, dreams are taking flight"

For this street musician, dreams are taking flight

By S.I. Rosenbaum, Boston Globe Correspondent | October 19, 2008

( to read this story at the Boston Globe site goto:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/10/19/for_this_street_musician_dreams_are_taking_flight/ )

He had been playing for hours. His hands were cold and cramping on the guitar strings, his voice was hoarse, and he really needed to find a bathroom. But still he stood on the sidewalk in front of the Agganis Arena and sang: "In the rose-covered hill/ grows a dirty yellow pill/ they say it brings you back around/ picks you up and lies you down . . . "

His name is Steven Bacon. He has a voice like an oboe, warm and pure. He has a Martin guitar and a battery-powered amp and a license to play on the streets and in the T stations.

"I don't sleep, but if I slept/ I'd dream like Daniel dreamt/ I'd dream you home again/ home from the lion's den . . ."

He knew that in a few hours, the Swell Season - headed up by two stars of the movie "Once," Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova - would be playing the arena, and so there was a chance, just a chance, they might walk by and hear him singing on the sidewalk.

In a few hours, there would be bright lights in his face and thousands of people cheering for him, but he didn't know that yet. He only dreamed.

Even if you're not a musician - even if you can't carry a tune - you know this dream. The young artist toils in obscurity, until the right person recognizes his talent and he's transformed, made famous.

On the Boston folk scene, the story has real names attached to it - like Tracy Chapman and Joan Baez and Peter Mulvey - folksingers whose careers began on street corners.

Bacon moved to Boston a year ago with this story ringing in his head. He'd taken a songwriting course with Mulvey, years before, and Mulvey had given him this advice: "Move to Boston. Busk in the T."

So when Bacon's wife, Libby, was accepted to a PhD program at Boston University, Bacon did just that.

He was 34, with years of experience playing clubs and coffeehouses - first in Alaska, where he grew up, and later in Maine. But playing the streets of Boston was the hardest gig he'd had.

"You can't hear yourself, you're starting to choke on weird fumes, you're cold," Bacon said. "That's when you start to get really depressed about your career."

Once, he wheeled his amp onto the elevator to the Park Street underground station and found himself standing in fresh urine.

Other times he found himself playing for hours in front of crowds who never glanced at him. He wrote a new song. The chorus went: "Charlie wants to run/ Charlie wants to run/ from Park Street underground/ into the sun . . ."

In the midst of this, Bacon saw a movie called "Once," an independent film about street musicians in love.

It stars Hansard, an Irish guitarist, and Irglova, a Czech pianist. In the movie, the two fall in love, write songs, record an album, and part. In real life, Hansard and Irglova fell in love, wrote songs, recorded an album, won an Oscar, and began touring sold-out stadiums across the world.

"This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend their time struggling," Irglova said when she accepted her Oscar. "No matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible."

When Bacon saw the film, he felt a flash of recognition.

"It gave me a lot of hope, some extra fuel to keep going, to see a story that felt so real and resonated so much."

He downloaded the soundtrack, and listened to Hansard and Irglova's songs as he rode the Red Line into the city each day.

He was slowly learning the fine art of busking: how to connect with people on the street, how to make them want to stop and listen.

The dream doesn't just happen to you. You have to make it happen.

The day Hansard and Irglova were due to play at the Agganis Arena, Bacon set up his amp across the street and started to play.

After three hours, BU security politely kicked him off the property, so he moved across the street and kept playing, his fingers numb, his eyes closed. When he opened his eyes again, Hansard and Irglova were standing in front of him, smiling.

He remembers the next minutes as a joyful blur. A friend who was with him took pictures. Bacon babbled about how much Hansard's music meant to him, how he was looking forward to the concert that night.

"We'll see you at the show," he remembers Hansard saying to him.

"I'll see you," Bacon told him, "but you probably won't see me."

In the Swell Season concert, Bacon sat in the back of the arena, soaking in the sounds of the band.

Then there was a pause, and Hansard stepped to the microphone.

"We came in tonight and we were walking around," he said. "And we ran into a busker . . . and his name was Steven. Everyone be quiet for a second. Steven, are you here?"

Bacon stood up and held his guitar over his head. The crowd began to cheer.

Come up and play a song for us, Hansard said.

"You have these dreams," Bacon said. "And you feel like, this is the path you're meant to be on. But you also know that everyone feels like that."

It's been a month since the Swell Season concert. Bacon has been busy. He's been playing a lot of gigs, at places like the Me & Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead and Club Passim in Harvard Square. He's looking into recording a new album. A PR firm has offered to represent him.

He even landed a gig opening for the Bacon Brothers, actor Kevin Bacon and songwriter Michael Bacon's band (no relation).

It's not that the Swell Season concert caused all this - most of it was already in motion. But something changed in Bacon when he walked onto the stage at Agganis.

All the things he'd imagined for himself seemed possible then, he said.

"Even though I was nervous and kind of awestruck," he said, "I felt like I had found my place." When he walked onstage, Hansard pulled him into a hug, than handed him his own guitar.

Bacon stepped up to the microphone, his heart pounding. When he started to sing, his voice was hoarse. For a minute his pitch wavered. Then he steadied himself, and his voice grew stronger. "Charlie wants to fly/ Charlie wants to fly/ from Park Street underground/ into the sky . . . "
- Boston Globe


"Concert Review: A 'Swell' time, Oscar winners (from the movie ONCE) play at Agganis"

...."Glen Hansard said he traditionally plays a few songs by himself, midway through each set. But after the first, he spoke in his thick Irish accent about a street performer they came across as they were walking on Commonwealth Avenue before the show. He asked everyone to be quiet as he asked Steven Bacon, the performer, to stand up, and invited him onstage to sing one of his own songs. Bacon, who seemed surprised by the gesture, walked onstage, awestruck, as Hansard gave him his guitar and promptly left the stage, giving Bacon time to play an original song. When he was finished, Bacon received a standing ovation as he looked out at the crowd.".... - The Huntington News 9/22/08


"Portland Scene Report-Steven Bacon and Glen Hansard"

You probably remember singer/songwriter STEVEN BACON, who moved to Portland from Alaska, helped out with founding CAT & MOUSE RECORDS, and then moved on down to Boston, where he now works daily playing on the streets and in the subways. Well, he’s got a pretty good story. He’s a big Once fan (you know, the movie starring Glen Hansard of the Frames and Marketa Irglova, where they play on the streets and don’t have names?), so when he heard Hansard and Irglova were coming to Boston with their band, SWELL SEASON, he got tickets. Then he set up outside Agganis Arena and played for three hours before the show, when who should show up in front of him but Hansard and Irglova, who’d been tipped off by a friend and came over to see him. They threw a tip in the case, and that would have been cool right there, but then Bacon goes into the show and Hansard actually calls him up to the stage (seriously — and in a weird coincidence, the “Sibilance” staff is following a story about LOST ON LIFTOFF’s WALT CRAVEN getting up with WEEZER) and lets him play one of his original songs. The crowd goes nuts, and now everyone’s interested in the guy who played with Swell Season. ANTJE DUVEKOT has asked him to come and play with her, ELLIS PAUL invited him to a show, and CD BABY recorded a podcast with him, all just as a start. - Portland Phoenix


"Sparrow Album Review"

Performer Magazine. August, 2007.

In his third release, Sparrow, award-winning singer/songwriter Steven Bacon flirts with British-style pop melodies, forays into funk and loops with abandon. The alt-folk artist is equally likely to plunge into the just-plain-folk side of his repertoire; in fact, the lyrics of the rousing hillbilly ballad “Upswing Again” could have been written generations ago. Bacon croons, “Holdin’ my head up high / The sun is sittin’ on a brand new sky / Water flowin’ where the river run dry / Hell, I don’t know, no reason why.”

Bacon’s vocals are understated, perhaps for the better — all the more to showcase the intensity of his lyrics. After a thorough listen, it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that Bacon is as much a poet as he is a musician. He has a knack for subtle alliteration, concrete metaphors, and allusive imagery. The phoenix, the empty tomb and the sparrow are the sorts of archetypes Bacon gathers from the past to reuse for his own purposes. The extended metaphor even makes an appearance in “Sweet Melody,” where “major” and “minor” chords work out their differences in both the lyrics and the music.

The final track, “Desperate,” a song about homeless youth, gives Bacon a chance to showcase not only his talent, but also his passion. The bursting chorus, with its layered vocals and rhythms, makes it hard to believe that this recording is the work of one man.

It’s surprising that Bacon’s CD was composed as part of February Album Writing Month, with all 10 songs being written in a single month. It makes one wonder what Bacon could come up with in two. (Self-released)

www.stevenbacon.com

-Rosaleen Torrey

http://www.performermag.com/nep.recordedreviews.0708.php
- Performer Magazine. August, 2007


"A Look Back at the Best Local Roots Releases of 2005""


"Another recent addition to Portland's music scene, Steven Bacon delivered a gem of a folk album in 2005. Carolina is a well-crafted and beautiful collection of tunes. Bacon wrote the songs, played the instruments, and produced the whole shebang. Every time I've played this CD around friends, I gotten the same reaction: "Wow. Who is this?"" - THE BOLLARD


Discography

All songs on Steven's albums have been written, performed, and arranged by Steven Bacon.

CD's currently Available:

"Sparrow" (2006)

"Carolina" (2005)

"Chugach Range Sky" (Collected works, 1999-2003)

Photos

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Bio

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Band Members