May 14, 2009 — Big Kenny, of Big & Rich, recently held an all-star concert in Nashville to raise money for a poverty-stricken village in Africa. Tuesday, he did some charitable work in his hometown, delivering 20 guitars to students in five Music City schools.
The instruments were just a fraction of the total 140 guitars that are being donated to improve music education opportunities for kids. Kenny visited Mount View Elementary School to make the donation, and he was overwhelmed by the reception he got.
"I did not expect this at all," he told The Tennessean. "There were about 20 kids set up with electric guitars, and then the other half of the classroom had acoustic guitars and they were all going to play me a song. They did so wonderful. I was sitting in the middle of them. These kids were so excited it was unbelievable. It was better than Christmas."
The guitars were manufactured at three-quarters of the standard size to better allow the young students to play them. And they all have the Big & Rich catch phrase — Love Everybody — printed on the back. Big Kenny's hopeful th at some of his fellow artists will take a cue and make more instrumental donations to Nashville schools.
"I know that one of the kids is going to come up to me one day, and he'll end up being the next Jimi Hendrix or something close to it," Kenny said. "I hope this lifts them all up and they end up being the next generation of greatness coming out of Nashville."
In the meantime, Big Kenny's musical partner John Rich continues to represent Music City in unexpected places. Big & Rich has recorded with R&B artist John Legend and John employed actor Mickey Rourke in his "Shuttin' Detroit Down" video. Now he's featured in a duet with "American Idol" graduate Ruben Studdard on an album that comes out Tuesday.