OFFSTAGE: Kevin Bacon on Hearing Lee Brice in His Prius

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

You don’t have to drive a truck to fall in love with Lee Brice ‘s “I Drive Your Truck.” In fact, for Kevin Bacon, it happened in a Prius. In talking to Bacon and his brother Michael about their band, the Bacon Brothers , the conversation came around to country music. “I love storytelling,” Kevin said. “I love a great country song. I love that feeling in the third verse when the lyrics give you chills. When it works, it’s fantastic.” And then he told me about discovering Brice’s new song. “One of the best songs on my iPod is ‘I Drive Your Truck.’ I just happened to be driving — not my truck, but my Prius — and I heard it, and it’s just got so much going for it, including a very strong anti-war message. I love that song. When someone puts that together with the same kind of chords and the same instrumentation and the same words from the English language, but shapes it in a new way, I just love it.”

Other country songs the brothers Bacon are loving? “Do we still call Taylor Swift country?” Kevin said. “Because I think she’s a really good songwriter. And I thought Blake Shelton did a great job with ‘Footloose.’ When Michael and I first put the band together, I thought we might as well embrace the beast, as it were, so we’ve covered that song a lot in our shows.” (Kevin, of course, starred in the original Footloose film.)

Michael leans a little country, too, saying he became a fast fan when Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash got together in the ’60s and fused folk and country ­­– and then later when he and Kevin became friends with the Bellamy Brothers and played the Grand Ole Opry. But the song he says just kills him is Alan Jackson ‘s “Drive.”

“When Kevin and I were growing up, our father was an incredibly busy guy,” he said. “But for two weeks out of the year, we’d go to this lake up in the Adirondacks, and all the sudden, our father was totally relaxed. He had boats and motors, and so this song is an amazing little novel of a fulfilled life. His songs just come through like that for me. I can’t listen to it without crying.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.