Kenny Smith DrummerQ: You always seem to have a hat on. Is there a reason for this?
Kenny: I just really like hats and they have for some funny reason become a part of me. Whenever I don’t wear my hats people say “where is your ‘Kenny’ hat?”.

Q. How long do drum sticks last you?
Kenny: My drum sticks can last about 5 months before I start getting splinters in my fingers!

Q. What would you do if you could not play the blues anymore?
Kenny: The blues is engraved so deep in me that in some form it will always be a part of me and if I could not play the blues anymore I would definitely have the blues! I would probably just play the blues in my basement and still have fun the same way that I do now.

Q. What other style of music do you play?
Kenny: I can play a variety of styles of music but for me it’s from playing the blues that I can be so versatile and play so many different forms of music.

Q. Do you ever get bored playing the drums?
Kenny: No- I never get bored playing drums.I am a Drummer For Hire, Session Drummer,Studio Drummer, Touring drummer and also a drummer for Commercials and Jingles, I love playing with all of my heart, each and every day, night, rain, shine or snow!

Q. How do you keep your schedule straight with so many performances and commitments around the world?
Kenny: I make it a priority to keep myself organized and I check, recheck and recheck again my schedule every day to keep everything in order! I want to make sure that I can be there for the events and also my fans, which is important to me.

Q. What do you do to unwind after a performance?
Kenny: I usually get in my car to drive home and turn the radio on to listen to relaxing music, and sometimes I treat myself to a Krispy Kreme donut! Hahaha.

Q. Have you ever shown up for a gig on the wrong date or in the wrong city?
Kenny: I have come close before but no, that has not happened.

Q. What is the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened on a gig?
Kenny: There was a performance in Canada that I did and I had brought brand new drum sticks for the show but as soon as we started the show, my sticks broke so I grabbed another pair and they broke after one stroke and that kept happening over and over again. By the end of the show I was playing with a pair of sticks that I used a whole roll of duck tape to repair. That never had happened to me before!

Q. How are you able to switch from one genre to another without even practicing?
Kenny: Sometimes we do practice and sometime we just try new songs on stage and cross our fingers that the song turns out alright.

Q. Who, in a given music group, is the leader and setting the pace of a song?
Kenny: The leader of the group is normally the one that pays you at the end of the night! LOL. It is the vocalist who sets the pace for the songs they are singing or the band Director.

Q. How do you stay so skinny? Do you eat?
Kenny: Everyone always asks me that and I tell them that when I eat, I eat a lot! I try to stay healthy but I have a weakness for breakfast food and also I heard that playing drums is like running a 5K.

Q. Why do you have the clock on your drum?
Kenny: The clock on my drum has a time on it which never changes in time- which means that the time stays the same, always, as a drummer.

Q. I have heard you sing and you have a great voice. Will you ever make a Kenny Beedy Eye’s Smith CD?
Kenny: Thank you for the compliment and Yes I will in the near Future come out with a Cd to do my part in keeping the blues alive, I will keep You posted on that Date when it is released.

Q. When was your first desire to become involved in the blues & who was your first Idol?
Kenny: My first desire was when I was a young boy watching my father and all of his friends practice in our basement. I then went to a show and watched thousands of people enjoying these same songs that I had heard in my own house that was my moment, and my first idol is and will always be Willie Big Eyes Smith not because he was a great blues Legend, most of all he was a great Father.

Q. Are there any memories of all these “blues cats” which you’d like to share with us?
Kenny: I can remember going to a Muddy show and seeing a whole bunch of musicians, Lightnin’ Hopkins and many others, sitting around playing cards laughing and joking all night long. It was late… so I went to sleep on the couch and when I woke back up again, they were still playing cards, laughing and joking. By this time the sun was coming out.

Q: Do you feel that being around so many musicians and music as a child gave you such a saturation to Blues that it became second nature?

Kenny: Absolutely, so many musicians knew me, even before I could even speak my first word out of my mouth. They were at my house so much that I only knew them as family. This house was also the previous residence to Muddy Waters located at 4339 South Lake Park Ave in Chicago IL. Someone was always there hanging out or rehearsing in the basement. Being very young I fell in love with the sound of the blues- back then I could not explain the emotions that would run through my body when I heard it, but I knew that I liked it. Every time they would practice I would sit in my little chair listening and watching, taking it all in. If they practiced for hours, I would be right there with them the whole time.


Q: You state most of your mentoring on drums came from your Dad. What was his approach as teacher to his son?

Kenny: He knew I enjoyed playing the drums so he bought me my first drum kit and if I didn’t understand something, he would show me and sometimes practice with me.