Welcome to Official Site Of

Internationally Acclaimed     Stingin' & Swingin' 

World Wide Since 1987

About Us



 The King Bees, Rob "Hound Dog"  Baskerville and Penny "Queen Bee" Zamagni call the mountains of North Carolina  home, but travel the world with their Blues and American Roots music. This year  marks the 31st anniversary of the band and also the 16th year of New River Blues  Festival (held annually in their home, Ashe County) which they created and  produce.
The King Bees have performed on  festival stages in European capitals including Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Stockholm,  and London and have taken their internationally-acclaimed show across numerous  countries. Their love of American Roots music has carried them to shows in  Mississippi jukes joints as well as to several performances at Lincoln  Center.
 In the mid-1980's Baskerville and  Zamagni began traveling the deep-South searching for  and mentoring under Blues  artists of historical, cultural, and musical significance. Many blues greats  took them under their wing and nurtured and guided The King Bees toward the  sound of authenticity. With Baskerville on guitar and keys and Zamagni on  vocals, bass, and as song smith, The King Bees honed their art with many  Blues masters.  By 1990 they had been touring and recording with some of the  most culturally important of Blues artists. In the early 1990's they were signed  to a European label and began touring internationally.
The King Bees have toured and recorded  with Carey Bell, Jerry McCain, Nappy Brown and many other lions and legends.  They collaborated with Rock n' Roll Hall-of-Fame member Bo Diddley and were  featured on The B.B. King Birthday Tour. The King Bees have shared the bill with  Dr. John, Buddy Guy, James Brown, Leon Russell and a host of other  legends.
Known for their professionalism, and  exuberant, soulful performances, the King Bees take the stage and touch hearts  and mightily move spirits.


The King Bees 30th Anniversary at NEW RIVER BLUES FESTIVAL, 2017


    *"Queen Bee Zamagni belts it out with  the best, backed by a superb band highlighted by the burning riffs of Hound Dog  Baskerville." The Charlotte Observer


*"On Beale Street Zamagni sang like  Bonnie Raitt on steroids." 

Memphis Commercial Appeal

*"Legendary Blues stylists..." 

The  Knoxville Journal.

*"Excellent...Queen Bee Zamagni has a  strong, swinging, slinky voice used to good effect on every number. Fine  straight blues all the way..Tasty!" Blues & Rhythm,  England

"I was quite taken with Hound Dog's guitar playing..Good slide!" Bruce Iglaur, Alligator Records

 "Blues royalty.." Blues  Revue

"That's some mighty fine slide, son!" Friend and mentor, Doc Watson

Listen To Our Latest CD!


B.B. King Birthday Tour~ OH, PA,  NY 

Lincoln Center, Roots Of American Music~  NYC (Multiple years)

Memphis In May~ Memphis, TN

Gexto Blues Festival~ Spain

The Rhythm Riot~ England

Waterlands Blues Fest~  Netherlands

Quai de Blues~ Paris,  France

The Folk Club~ Milan, Italy

Spatzia Muzica~ Rome, Italy

Carl Sandburg Nat'l Historic Site Folk  Festival~ Flat Rock, NC (Multiple years)

Birmingham City Stages, Birmingham~ AL  (Multiple years)

Jazz Club~Stockholm, Sweden

Waterlands Blues Fest,  Netherlands

Kurkult Festival,~Sweden

Carolina Downhome Blues Festival~  Camden, SC (Multiple years)

Big Mama~ Rome, Italy

Chunky Rhythm & Blues Fest~ Chunky,  Miss.

Buddy Guy's Legends~ Chicago,  Il

Zoo Bar~ Lincoln, Neb.

Castile Forli~ Forli,  Italy 

Spoleto Intern'l Arts &  Music Festival~ Charleston, SC (Multiple years)

Piedmont Blues Fest~ Greensboro, NC  (Multiple years)

W.C. Handy Homeplace Blues Festival~  Muscle Shoals, AL

Bridging The Blues~ West Memphis,  AK

LowCountry Blues Bash~ Charleston, SC  (Multiple years)

Screven R & B Festival~ Savannah,  GA

Jazz Charlotte~ Charlotte,  NC

Bele Chere~ Asheville, NC (Multiple  years)

Carolina Lite Blues Fest ~  NC

Bull Durham Blues Fest~ Durham,  NC

National Black Arts Festival~ Atlanta,  GA

Hambone Blues Festival~ Rochester,  MN

Blues Aosta~ Aosta, Italy

Bluesin Lanakin~ Lanakin,  Belgium

New River Blues Festival~ Grassy Creek,  NC 2003-2018 Producers, Performers

Find out more

Contact Us

Let's Connect

Would you like info on The King Bees/MellowDown Music or would you like to book a show?

Official Site Of The King Bees

828 406-7455

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Videos, The King Bees Live

King Bees at New River Blues Festival, "Work With It".

The King Bees at New River Blues Festival, "Hamhock Stew".

The King Bees at Waterlands Blues Festival, The Netherlands, "King Bee".

The King Bees at New River Blues festival, "Evilena".

Hound Dog Baskerville wows crowd at New River Blues festival.


~Friday Sept. 7, Boone Earth Awareness Day, Jones House, Boone NC 5pm

~Saturday Sept. 8, Blowing Rock Draft House & Brewery, Hickory, NC 7-10pm

~Sunday Sept. 9, Grandfather Winery, Banner Elk NC, Bees Duo 1-4pm

~ Friday Sept. 14, The Best Cellar, Concert On The Lawn, Blowing Rock, NC  5:30pm
~Saturday Sept. 15, Ransom, Boone NC

~Friday Sept. 21, Old Hampton Store, Bees Duo, Newland, NC 6pm
~Saturday Sept. 22, Appalachian Mountain Brewing, Boone, NC Bees Duo, 8pm
~Friday Sept. 28, The Turn on Lake Norman, Denver, NC, 8pm
~Saturday Sept. 29, Old Hampton Store, Newland NC, Bees Duo 6pm
~Friday Oct. 5, Old Hampton Store, Linville NC, Bees Duo 6pm

~Saturday Oct. 6, Get Out The Vote, Downtown Park West Jefferson, NC 1pm
~Saturday Oct. 6, Twigs, Blowing Rock, NC 9pm

~Oct. 12..and beyond! On the road with Johnny Rawls, private parties..

~Then celebrating DadZ's 93 birthday in Putnam, CT

~STAY POSTED HERE! See you soon.

~Sat. Nov. 3, Twigs Blowing Rock, NC, 8:30pm

~Sun. Nov. 4, Friends of Wilkes County Library Annual Dinner Concert, Walker Center Wilkesboro, NC 5pm
~Sat. Nov. 8 Appalachian Mtn Brewery, Boone, NC 8pm
~Fri. Nov. 16, House Concert, Knoxville, TN
~Sat. Nov 17, Post-Game Party..Go 'Neers! 7pm
~Sat. Dec. 1, 9th Annual Can Jam, The RailYard, Bluesfield West Virginia, Bees on at 10pm
~Fri. Dec 7 Town Tavern, Blowing Rock, NC 9:30pm
~Sat. Dec 8 Private Party Atlanta GA

~Sat. Dec. 15, Private Party
~Fri. Dec. 21 Rascals, Beech Mtn NC 8pm

~Sat. Dec. 22 Ransom, Boone, NC 8:30-1130pm


~Fri. Jan 4 Noble Kava, Bees Duo Boone, NC 8pm

~Sat. Jan. 5, Highlanders Grill& Tavern Banner Elk, NC 8pm

~Sun. Jan. 6 River House Inn, Salon featuring Bees Duo Grassy Creek, NC 4pm
~Sat. Jan. 19 Rascals, Beech Mtn NC 8pm



Stay Tuned For 17th Annual New River Blues Festival, Sunday Sept. 1 2019

A Mountain Meadow, A Sparkling River, World-Class Blues! Our State Magazine: "A Top Ten Way to spend Labor Day"! An intimate celebration in natural beauty with world-renowned Blues Artists.



 Event Production, Artist Representation, World Class Blues  

MellowDown  Music Productions creates inspired music events and festivals  presenting premier, internationally-touring Blues artists. They are  originators of NEW RIVER BLUES FESTIVAL~  THE NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS BLUES FEST, now in its 16th season. They have also produced THE SUNRISE BLUES CRAWL FESTIVAL  in Southern Pines, NC, WinterBlues Fests, in Blowing Rock & Boone, NC, Shriners' Happy  Daze Blues Festival, Betsey's Blues Festival and many  others.
MellowDown Music Productions is also proud to offer for booking the legends, lions, & lifeblood of the blues. These world class artists are available for performances in the US and internationally.


~~~~SANDRA HALL~~~~ Empress of The Blues


Sandra Hall Empress Of The  Blues.  As a teenager in the 1960's, Sandra led The  Exotics. People thought they were the Supremes, they were that  good! They opened for Otis Redding, Joe Tex, Johnny Taylor, B.B.  King, Jerry Butler, the Temptations, and the O’Jays  at the legendary Royal Peacock on Auburn Avenue in  Atlanta.  She soon  went solo and immersed herself in the Blues. . Sandra has performed all  over the world. This dazzling  singer has been the featured artist at  the world's most prestigious venues  including the MONTREAUX JAZZ FESTIVAL. She  has  performed in the capitals of Europe --London, Paris, Rome--and  taken her soul  stirring show from country juke joints to Russia, always  to wild acclaim. Ms.  Hall takes the Blues from rightious to raunchy,  soulful to sassy....she makes  damn sure her audience has a grand time.

~~MOJO IKE & VAL WOODS~~ Grammy Nominated & Soulful!


Ike and Val Woods..Grammy nominated, soulful and joyous.  Mojo Ike and Val have brought their musical celebration throughout the United  States, Europe, and the Caribbean. Veterans of the deep-South music scene, their roots are profoundly   planted in the bedrock of gospel and blues. Ike's smoldering guitar, Val's passionate vocals, and their sparkling showmanship all combine to   raise blues to new levels of exuberance.  Living Blues Magazine:  "..uplifting..refreshing and genuine.. ..a remarkable guitarist..  notch..".  

~~~~~~JOHNNY RAWLS~~~~~ From Mississippi To The World Stage!

  From Mississippi to the world stage.  Multiple-award  winning singer, songwriter, guitarist, arranger and producer, JOHNNY   RAWLS draws on the 1950s' and '60s' soul-blues tradition in his guitar   playing, yet his lyrics and singing are timeless. Rawls got his early  musical  education from his grandfather, John Paul Newson, a blind  guitarist who played  all over the Hattiesburg, MS area.    Johnny has  been the leader of some of the most eminent musical  groups, directing  the bands of  legends Joe Tex, Z.Z. Hill and  Little Johnny Taylor.   Fronting  his own phenomenal groups, he has traveled the world headlining major   festivals and thrilling audiences in the U.S and abroad. He has been  featured  multiple times at the Chicago Blues Festival, The King Biscuit   Festival and festivals all over Europe, as well as in Russia.   

~~~~BIG RON HUNTER~~~~~ World's Happiest Bluesman

BIG RON HUNTER   travels the world as  Ambasador Of The Good Time Blues. Big Ron has acquired the nick-name,  The  World's Happiest Bluesman, inspired by his sunny performing style, wonderful  sense of humor, and song writing that always uncovers the silver lining. Belying  his positive attitude, his background was rough hewn and arduous. The son of a  share cropper, Ron grew up near Winston-Salem in a cabin without electricity.  But there was love and Ron was encouraged from an early age to develop his  prodigious musical talent. As a youngster Ron garnered the attention of the  legendary Guitar Gabriel who mentored the eager musician to develop his own  voice and approach. Ron is equally talented on electric and acoustic guitars,  possesses a one-of-a-kind voice full of passion, honesty and optimism and wins  hearts the world over. 

~~~~DONALD CEASAR~~~~ The Blues Emperor

Donald Ceasar, The Blues  Emperor is an artist of exceptional versatility, performing on  drums, harmonica, and keyboards while singing lead vocals and laying down  high-spirited dance steps. Ceasar hales from the bayous of Louisiana, in the  heart of Creole and Cajun country where his grandfather, Alphonse “Bois Sec”  Ardoin and other family members were pioneers and founding fathers of Cajun  Zydeco music. Ceasar has been entertaining audiences since childhood with his  Cajun family band and opening for and sharing the stage with legendary artists  such as Rocking Sidney, Fats Domino, Dr. John, The Nevilles, B.B. King, Allen  Toussaint, and James Brown. Ceasar delivers a sizzling musical-gumbo full of the  succulent flavors of Louisiana.  "..possibly the hippest entertainer in the  Carolinas.” Jim Otis, The State, Columbia,SC.

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