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KEEPIN’ IT TOGETHER by Bob Stroger & Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith
The Legendary Bob Stroger and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith have been connected for decades- both on a personal and musical level. Their newly released album, Keepin’ It Together, is truly a family affair with one of the best blues bands in Chicago. Their special bond, sprung from their relationships with the beloved and late Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, who was Kenny’s father and the drummer for Muddy Waters for over 20 years. Willie and Bob spent endless hours together, on and off stage. For Kenny and Bob, completing Keepin’ It Together allowed them to do what they do best- pay tribute to their style of blues and honor the great musicians that came before them. The spirit of those late greats comes through loud and clear.
Bob and Kenny have been recognized by many as being at the top of their musical game and their lists of individual and joint accomplishments are impressive. Both Kenny and Bob contributed to Joined At The Hip, a collaboration between Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Pinetop Perkins, which won a Grammy in 2011. For Kenny and Bob, this would have marked the last time they joined forces with Willie and Pinetop for a project of its kind. Bob and Kenny were driven to create Keepin’ It Together as a way to carry on their blues traditions.
Bob and Kenny were thrilled with the idea of creating an album so that they could share their unique gift with the world and produce a project that would forever be a part of blues history. Keepin’ It Together is a family recording. It flows from the life line of their musical heritage. It is their oral tradition that can be passed down from generation to generation.
BORN IN ARKANSAS by Willie “BIG Eyes” Smith
If you are looking for traditional Blues with lots of feeling then this CD is for you. What would 10-year-old Willie Smith have said back in 1946 if asked what he wanted to be when he grew up? The Legendary Bluesman would have had the same answer as most any other boy his age in Arkansas: a train conductor, better yet, a freight train conductor. In that Mississippi Delta River town of Helena, Arkansas where he was born, Willie knew only what surrounded him, and to Willie, that meant the farming life. He knew how to “pick cotton, pull cotton, and bail cotton” and he knew that for every hundred pounds he bagged he made $2 in cash. Willie knew he loved the blue river, the flatlands, and most of all, he knew he loved The Music.
Music for Children & Families by Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith
Big Eye Records Brain Boogie was created for children of all ages at all developmental levels and will undoubtedly stimulate a child’s mind, body and soul. Kenny was surrounded by music all of his life (Kenny’s father is renowned Blues drummer Willie Big Eyes Smith) and because of his upbringing, he understands the power of a song- how it can change a life, bring happiness or comfort and even teach something in the process. Kenny remembers how music provided a sense of connection to his family- dancing around the living room with his parents and grandmothers- and he decided he wanted all children to experience that joy and love of music. He soon discovered that he was as passionate about working with children as he was about music.
Music for Children & Families
Kenny continues to want to share his gift of music with the children and plays many extra shows to fund his children’s cd’s. Kenny devotes most of his free time and energy to creating the musical sounds and lyrics which are featured on these cds as he wants desperately to grab the attention of children- while still teaching them essential lessons in the process. Kenny Smith has succeeded in this effort and his passion shines through in the songs you will hear!