King Bees to kick off Todd concert series

Wil Petty

June 21, 2014

There will be some serious buzzing on Saturday night when the King Bees open the annual Todd Free Summer Music Series in Cook Park.

“We’re kicking off the Todd music series, which is a wonderful event sponsored by Todd Community Preservation Organization (TCPO),” said Rob Baskerville, front man for the Todd-based King Bees. “They put their heart and soul into this music series in a beautiful spot right there in downtown Todd.”

King Bees started in the late 1980s, and have since released nine CD’s, and have made television appearances in Florida, Alabama and Charlotte.

“We formed in 1987,” Baskerville said. “My wife and I met and were both into American roots music, so we decided to start playing music together.”

From those humble beginnings, the group has toured the U.S. and Europe playing all styles of blues music, rockabilly, early rhythm and blues (R&B) and any genre that could be classified as American roots.

“We play it all,” Baskerville said. “I put it under the umbrella of American roots music, which frees me to play any (style). I’m just as comfortable playing Delta blues as I am swing music, rockabilly and Piedmont blues in there too. We cover that all with American roots music.”

The group has also performed with globally known musicians including Bo Diddley, Big Jack Johnson and Ronnie Earl.

“We have basically played everywhere from the capital cities of Europe to the Lincoln Center in New York to juke joints in Mississippi and Alabama,” Baskerville said.

The concert is free to the public and will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 21.

“You can’t beat it,” Baskerville said. “It is world class music in a beautiful spot with great food and beverage and just a beautiful time.”

Other King Bees performances in Ashe County:

In addition to performing in Todd, the King Bees have two additional performances lined up for Ashe County over the summer.

On Friday, June 27, the King Bees will be performing on the Backstreet in West Jefferson as part of the Backstreet Park Concert series. The series occurs every Friday from May to August from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Aug, 31, the band will also be hosting the New River Blues Festival at the River House near Grassy Creek.

“This will be our 12th year, and that is the main project we will have going on in addition to constant touring and playing of festivals in the summertime,” Baskerville said. “Basically, we have a lot of gigs and our energy is going into putting on the New River Blues Festival.”

Other concerts in Todd

The TCPO will also have the following bands performing throughout the summer:

• New River Boys (July 5)

• Eric Ellis and Caldwell Line (July 19)

• Kruger Brothers (July 20)

• Elkville String Band (Aug. 2)

• The Tillers (Aug. 16)

• Melissa Reeves (Sept. 6)

For more information on the Todd Community Preservation Organization’s concert series, visit

Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.