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The best kept secret in music


"It's Showtime For Eugene Smiley Sr."

On Thursday, Oct 5, Eugene Smiley will hold a CD release party at Knuckleheads. Now, parties need ghest, and this one has some great ones - including Cotton Candy and So Many men and Jeff Lucus. all they need now is YOU.
Eugene Sr. is one of Kansas City finest guitarists and vocalists. He has a list of credits that would take a whole BLUES NEWS to list, but I will hit some of the highlights.
Eugene was born in New Orleans and his folks moved to KC when he was very young. He was mainly raised by his grandparents and a large musically talented extended family. By the time he was 4 he was singing solo in church and at 8 he was playing piano for the youth choir. After high school band and choir headed to college for a degree incase his musical career stalled.
In 1967 he headed to Chicago. He joined a group called "The Delmontes", which became the "Visitors". They recorded several albums with Brunwick Records. After his contract expired he went on the road playing guitar and singing.
He ended up playing with artists including Al Green, Rufus Thomas, Bobby Womack, Johnny Taylor and Albert King just to name a few.
He retured to KC in 1976 and put togather a group called "the Essence Of Love", which had a wealth of writing, arranging and producing talent. Some of the songs recorded on their own label are "We're Lovers Day And Night", "Yes It's You", "Marry Me"and "I Want to Share My Love with You".
When the disco era began and triditional R&B began to suffer in the seventies, Eugene withdrew from the music scene until 1987, he began to play gospel music with several local groups. Then in 1992 he help create "The Mighty BWB Band".
After the untimely death of saxophonist and educator Mayfield Towns, the band continued on for a while, but members eventually went their own directions andhave left their mark on other bands on the KC scene.
In the years since BWB disbanded, Eugene has lent his talent to many bands in the area, including most recently Big Woody. Eugene spent several years mentoring Brody Buster during their stint as Friday matinee band at the Grand Emporium.
In 1998 he released " Straight From The Soul", nearly a one man CD with guitar work on two tracks from Billy Beal and co-producing by Phyllis Bowman and mixing by his son Eugene Smiley Jr. This CD ha sbeen heard regularly on KKFI.
But 1998 seem to be a long time ago and we've all been wondering what Smiley is up to.
Well, the wait is over. He went into Larry Gain's Awe Struck Studios with his new band, SHOWTIME, and put down his beat work to date.
SHOWTIME is a classic R&B horn band with John (Hollywood) Bridgewater on Lead and Rhythm guitar, Bobby Adams on Drums, Mike Moreland on Keyboards, Ira Wilks on Base guitar, Dewey Rucker on Saxophones, Ronnie reed on Trumpit and Ronnie Pitchlyn on Trumpit. and of course Eugene smiley Sr. on Lead and Rhythm Guitar and Lead Vocals.
The event kick off with Cotton Candy and so Many Men.
At 8:45 Jeff Lucus presents awards to Connie Crash, Bobby Adams, James Gilbert and Woody Davis. Then at 9, Showtime take the stage, with selection from the new CD, "Legends",and lots more.
After Showtime finishes, an all star jam begins.
Bring plenty of money because you're going to buy CD's and stuff to send to friends.
So come to knuckleheads on Thirsday, Oct 5, and hear some of the beat music anywhere. Mysicians, bring your gear, so eugene can relax and listen for a change. - Paul "Dr. Bones" Scofield


As the Visitors in the 60's - Until You Came Along & I'm In Danger, made the nations top 10, We were lovers day & nite - The Essence Of Love - hot on the charts in the 70's. CD Released in early 90's Straight from the Soul. This new CD Legends is getting some great airplay - Voodoo Woman and Time to Get out of Here are hot!


Feeling a bit camera shy


Over the years I have played with many of the hot blues & R&B artists around the country. Each artist had something special or unique about their music or performance. So I've learned to be creative, have patience, confidence in myself. Influences: Chilites, James Brown, Al Green, BB King, Albert King, Johnnie Taylor, Frankie Lee, Marva Whitney, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole. I prepared myself by learning how to write lyrics, arrange music and charts for each instrument, and mentor up & coming young and older musicians that are just starting to learn stage presence; Brody Buster, Eugene Smiley Jr. are just a couple of recent young talents.
2) When selecting band members I realize that it's vital to have a group of artists that can work well together - prima donnas make it rough. Over the years I've been able to keep the cats that I enjoy playing with and weed out the discordance.
3) A good musician is responsible for looking the part, acting the part, and playing the part. Stage Presence is a MUST! We need to be in sync musically & stepping in time with each other.
4) we have that BIG sound. That sound is like bread & butter - a sandwich. It keeps the dance floor full, makes you want to shake your booty and then we change the feel by playing a little belly rubbing music for those lovers in the crowd. Get everyone out there on the dance floor for a group party or a private party.
5) Most of all, we want to make sure everbody just has a great time and want to come here us again and again because they know it's gonna be a party.