Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet Band
Saturday, Jun 11th, 1994
Susquehanna River Celebration
Harrisburg, PA

Tonya Browne - lead vocals
Mark Ross - guitar, backing vocals
Jack Wilkinson - drums, backing vocals, lead vocals (track 3)
Rene' Witzke - bass
Doug Bernstein (?) - saxophone

1. introduction (0:50)
2. opening instrumental (4:54)
3. If You Love Me Like You Say (4:00)
4. I Wanna Thank You (3:15)
5. I'm a Queen Bee (3:38)
6. Every Night and Every Day (11:09)
7. Flip Flop and Fly (3:05)
8. Turn You Love On High (4:36)
9. Baby What You Want Me To Do (5:33)
10. I'd Rather Go Blind (5:15)
11. Running Shoes (3:09)
12. Too Tall to Mambo/drum solo (7:32)
13. CC Rider (3:36)
14. Route 66 (4:12)
15. Let Me Tell You What Love Is (5:32)
16. 90 MPH (2:23)

Total Time: 1:12:39

Portable cassette recorder (?) ->
Cool Edit (WAV, filtering & track split) ->
FLAC Frontend -> flac files


Unfortunately the sound quality of this recording isn't
the best. I'm not even sure what I used to record it,
but I think it was a hand-held portable cassette player.
The low end (bass and drums) is a little distorted, and
Tonya's vocals are too low in the mix, but overall the
recording is at least listenable if not great. I had
to flip the tape this was recorded on between "I'd Rather
Go Blind" and "Running Shoes", which is why there's a
fade-out and fade-in there.

The show was held in a tent between the Susquehanna
river and Front street in Harrisburg, PA. If I remember
correctly, it was fairly miserable day with a lot of
wind and rain.

I was recently watching a blues festival on TV and that
put me in the mood to hear some Queen Bee. After going
through their albums, I remembered that I had done some
audience recordings of the band. So I dug around and
found a stack of tapes - five shows altogether. I'm
hoping to eventually get all five digitized and put up
on Dime for any other fans who may want to hear them.

For those who never had the pleasure of seeing the mighty
Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet Band, they were a rockin'
blues band formed in State College, PA in the mid-80s who
ruled the bar band scene at Penn State from the late-80s
through the late-90s, eventually branching out to play
bars and festivals all over the northeastern U.S.

The band was formed by guitarist Mark Ross after hearing
Browne, who was working as a bartender at the time, singing
along with music in the bar. He convinced her to start a
band, and after going through a couple drummers and a few
bassists, by 1993 the band's line-up had solidified around
the rhythm section of Wilkinson and Witzke. I still
remember sitting next to Rene Witzke in Zenos one night and
overhearing him tell someone he was the bassist in Queen
Bee, and I basically told him he was full of crap because
the bassist was a big, burly guy (Ronnie Wasco). From
that night on, every time I'd go see the band Witzke would
spot me in the crowd, smile and point at himself to say
"see, I told you I was in the band". Great guy.

The Blue Hornet Band had a very hard time holding on
to saxophone players - it seemed like it was a new guy
nearly every time I saw them play live, and each of their
studio albums features a different saxophonist. That's
why I've got the question mark after Doug Bernstein
above - he was on their 1993 album "Dealin' the Blues",
but I'm not sure if he was still in the band at the time
of this show.

The band split up in 1999 due to some of the band members
growing tired of the heavy touring schedule, and sadly the
Queen Bee herself, Tonya Browne, died far too young. She
passed away very unexpectedly on March 9th, 2001, reportedly
from complications due to diabetes.

Queen Bee discography:

Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet Band (1987)
Harder Than a Freight Train (1990)
Dealin' The Blues (1993)
Live at the Acoustic Brew (1996)
Live (1997)
Front to Back (1998)
Honey From the Hive (retrospective) (2010?)


Do a search for the band on YouTube - there's a lot of
great footage out there.