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King Bees kick off Banner Elk concert series

Article Published: Jun. 10, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
King Bees kick off Banner Elk concert series

The King Bees bring the blues to Banner Elk on Thursday, June 17.

Photo submitted

The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce Summer Concerts are back.

This year's series kicks off Thursday, June 17, with regional blues masters The King Bees, now signed to the critically-acclaimed Bonedog Records label out of Pittsburg, Penn.

By the time they play for the Banner Elk Chamber's 2010 Summer Concert in the Park on June 17, they'll be deep into recording their next CD, which will have world-wide distribution.

The King Bees are used to rockin' their blues in settings near and far - Rome, New York City, Paris, Amsterdam. Their deep love of the genre, their keen musical sensibilities, and their pure pleasure in performing translate into any language.

Founded in Boone in 1987 by guitarist/organist Rob "Hound Dog" Baskerville and singer/song-writer/bassist Penny "Queen Bee" Zamagni, the 'ees cut their teeth going to the Deep South and Mississippi Delta and honed their skills sitting in with and backing up many blues titans, including Bob Diddley, Tinsley Ellis, Billy Branch, Mojo Buford, Big Jack Johnson, Sam Carr, Frank Frost, Lazy Lester, Ronnie Earl - just a few who've invited the Bees to share the stage.

They've also shared the bill with John Lee Hooker, Dr. John, The Black Crowes, Bill Monroe, Leon Russell and more.

The King Bees sharpened and refined their cut-to-the-bone talent in the years spent on road as the band of choice for numerous legends, including Carey Bell, Chicago Bob Nelson, Nappy Brown, Chick Willis and Jerry McCain. The Bees were proud to be included along with Carey Bell on the B.B. King 80th Birthday Tour.

But don't think The King Bees are merely a superior back-up band. Having learned at the feet of the greats throughout the Deep South has amply prepared them to forge a smoldering, rocking, soul-stirring sound that's all their own. Over the many, many miles logged in the States, and in numerous European tours, they've proven that they can raise the roof at prestigious concert halls, such as Lincoln Center in New York City, where they've appeared several times, shake the stage at European festivals, and bring the crowd to their knees in a juke-joint way down south.

The King Bees' CDs on Tramp Records, featuring Zamagni's originals, have received international acclaim. For more information on the King Bees, call (336) 877-2864, email ( or visit

The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce Summer Concerts run through Aug. 26.

They begin at 6:30 p.m. at the stage behind the Bank of America on N.C. 194, and attendees are encouraged to bring their chairs or blankets and coolers. Food will also be available for purchase, as will raffle tickets for prizes and a 50/50 split of the "pot."

This week's concert is sponsored by Little Main Street Inn & Suites (, located next to the Banner Elk Police Department on N.C. 194.

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