King Bees perform in Banner Elk

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Article Published: Jun. 20, 2013 | Modified: Jun. 21, 2013
King Bees perform in Banner Elk

The King Bees, featuring Rob ‘Hound Dog’ Baskerville and Penny ‘Queen Bee’ Zamagni, will open Banner Elk’s 2013 Summer Concerts in the Park series.

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The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce’s first Summer Concert in the Park takes place Thursday, June 20, featuring blues virtuosos The King Bees.

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

Founded in Boone in 1987 by guitarist and organist Rob “Hound Dog” Baskerville and singer, songwriter and bassist Penny “Queen Bee” Zamagni, the Bees 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 Bo Diddley, Tinsley Ellis, Billy Branch, Mojo Buford, Big Jack Johnson, Sam Carr, Frank Frost, Lazy Lester and Ronnie Earl.

The King Bees have shared the bill with John Lee Hooker, Dr. John, The Black Crowes, Bill Monroe, Leon Russell and many others.

The Bees sharpened and refined their talent in 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, as well as performing on the B.B. King 80th Birthday Tour.

But the Bees are more than a back-up band. Baskerville said having learned at the feet of the greats throughout the Deep South has amply prepared the band to forge a smoldering, rocking, soul-stirring sound that’s all its own.

It’s a sound that can also be found on their multiple albums on Tramp Records, featuring Zamagni’s original compositions.

The Banner Elk concert – this week’s sponsored by Morningstar Mini-Storage — starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Tate-Evans Town Park stage behind Bank of America on N.C. 194. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets and coolers. Food will also be available for purchase at the concert. Dogs are welcome, too, as long as they’re friendly and on a leash. Raffle tickets can be purchased for prizes, as well as for a cash drawing. Admission is free.

For more information about the concerts, contact John Heinlein at (johnheinlein@skybest.com)

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