Kenny Smith was born into blues royalty. He grew up in the same house where Muddy Waters once lived in Chicago His father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, played drums for the Muddy Waters’ Band in the early 1960′s and then again from 1968 through 1980 and throughout his childhood, Kenny was surrounded by Muddy and his friends. These same blues icons helped mold him into the person and drummer he is today.
Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, learned 99% of what he knows about drumming from his father and was also inspired by acclaimed drummers: Odie Payne, Fred Below, Earl Phillips, S. P. Leary, Francis Clay and Art Blakey and many others who paved the way.
Honored all across the globe for his exceptional achievements.
Four time nominee for a Blues Music Award for Best Drummer by the Blues Foundation.
Four times Living Blues awards winner for most outstanding musician (drums) in 2008 (shared with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith), 2009, 2010 and 2011.
In 2009, an album entitled “Chicago Blues: A Living History” on which Kenny recorded, was nominated for a Grammy Award and won Best Blues Album in 2009 by the Academie de Jazz de France.
In 2011 Kenny won a Grammy award for his work on Joined at The Hip with Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith.
He was told by his father, and many other blues legends to carry on the blues and to not just play it, but to “live it, learn it and breathe it” and from those experiences he would be able to keep the past and present history of the blues alive and kicking all over the world.
Kenny has played over 7,500 live performances to date and has earned the right to wear that royal blues crown.