Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Best Blues Artist 

Bennie Smith

There was a time, long ago, when blues guitar was about simplicity and soul instead of Stevie Ray Vaughan wankery. We might not remember that period, but Bennie Smith does. Smith played with luminaries such as Chuck Berry and Ike and Tina Turner as the '50s transformed the blues into rock & roll, and he hasn't quit playing since. Sitting in a rickety wooden chair, this quintessential bluesman (he was born a seventh son, for God's sake) still blows away crowds whenever he plays. Smith's voice carries the weight of history, ramshackle and rough-hewn but still strong. His fingers have aged as smooth as Scotch, dancing effortlessly and bringing out notes so strong and pure they seem to be coming out of a time machine. As he approaches his 70th birthday, Smith remains a living treasure for the city of St. Louis.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 21, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation