In fond memory of Willie Big Eyes Smith

Late last week, the blues world lost another of its legends with the passing of drummer and harmonica player Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, who in death is reunited with such former bandmates as the great Muddy Waters and keyboardist Pinetop Perkins, with whom the 75 year-old Smith shared a Grammy win earlier this year for their 2010 Joined at the Hip album.

While of course saddened that we’ll never again be able to enjoy Smith’s talents on stage – as we did, for example, back in 2007 when he appeared with Perkins, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, and Calvin “Fuzz” Jones (each of whom have also died during the last year: Jones last August, Perkins this spring, and Edwards just in recent weeks), as well as George “Mojo” Buford, Michael Frank, and Bob Margolin at a legends of the blues show at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Music Hall, we do take some comfort in knowing that Willie’s music and legacy will continue to live on, not only through his own recordings but also in the careers of others such as Willie’s son and fellow drummer, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith.

Rest in peace, Big Eyes.

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