The King Bees buzz into tourism expo

By Makenzie Holland (

Article Published: Jun. 5 | Modified: Jun. 7
The King Bees buzz into tourism expo

The King Bees, featuring Rob ‘Hound Dog’ Baskerville and Penny ‘Queen Bee’ Zagmani, will perform at Friday’s Blues, Brews, Barbecue and Canoes tourism expo.

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Gearing up for a weekend of music, food and drink, international recording artist and area resident Rob Baskerville of The King Bees said he looks forward to performing in this Friday’s annual Blues, Brews, Barbecue and Canoes tourism expo.

“We live on the New River, so it’s great for us to play over at Wahoo’s landing there,” Baskerville said of he and his wife, Penny Zagmani. “We love the New River and what it means to the High Country, so, obviously, we love playing right there.”

Founded in 1987 by Baskerville and Zagmani, the band has developed its own sound over the years after following music greats, such as Bo Diddley, Mojo Buford and Sam Carr, to name a few.

Baskerville said following and performing with these musicians for so many years taught them two very important lessons about music.

“The main thing they teach you is, one, respect for the music,” Baskerville said. “And two, you are an entertainer, not just a musician. You have to connect. That is the key that so many musicians don’t do, that we’ve been fortunate to learn from the masters how important that is. Don’t try and sound like somebody else. Try and define how you sound.”

Baskerville said his band, commonly misconceived as being a Chicago-style blues band, plays what he calls American roots music based in blues, “as all good American music is.”

Their own music style and sound has been achieved through living and their own personalities, Baskerville said, and that’s how any great musician’s music should be.

“There comes a point where you have learned all the licks, and you have to assimilate them into your personality and who you are and how you feel and what you want to convey,” Baskerville said. “To me, it’s pointless to go copy someone else’s solo. Give me the vehicle to play live, and let me see who I am at that moment and what I happen to be feeling, and, hopefully, that comes across.”

The King Bees will be performing at several locations in the High Country this summer, and their performance Friday at the Blues, Brews, Barbecue and Canoes expo will be the kick-off to their local summer.

This year marks the fifth year of the tourism expo, which focuses on equipping local tourism businesses and their employees with information about other local businesses, so they can keep High Country tourists in the know of all the area has to offer. The expo, created by Wahoo’s Adventures owner Jeff Stanley, will take place Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Blowing Rock Ale House will bring free beer samples from kegs and cans to the expo, allowing the expo to live up to the “brews” part of its name.

Virginia Roseman, Wahoo’s Adventures marketing director, said Wahoo’s is continuing to work toward its goal of having 40 vendors at the expo this year.

“Anyone who is looking to get their name out there, we would love for them to give us a call and book a spot,” Roseman said.

Along with the breweries, Roseman said several new and interesting restaurants have signed up to attend the event, including the recently opened Taste of Italy.

Starting at 10 a.m., free water activities will take place for guests in the concierge area of business, and for the rest of the time, attendees will have the opportunity to walk around, talk and visit other businesses.

Directions to the event location at Wahoo’s Adventures New River outpost can be found at Wahoo’s Adventures website, Space reservations can be made by calling Wahoo’s Adventures at (828) 262-5774.

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