Bee & the Hive
Jeff Stanton—vocals, banjo • Mary Kate Brennan—vocals, guitar • Beee Zander—vocals, guitar • Jeff Meyer—bass • Dave Macdonald—vocals, mando
Bee and the Hive deliver Americana music developed and sung on Florida's Space Coast replete with three-part harmony, a touch of bluegrass, and acoustic blues. Band members are: Jeff Stanton, Mary Kate Brennan, Bee Zander, Jeff Meyer, and Dave Macdonald.
Jeff Stanton hails from Merritt Island by the ocean in northern Brevard County, Florida. He grew up in a musical family in Lexington, Kentucky in which both of his parents sang Barbershop music. His picking and singing have a pure and easy-going feel that evokes the countryside. He has been playing banjo for a decade. (The musical family continues on, as his son by the same name plays guitar and sings in the band Pidgin.) Jeff performed with the acoustic duo Bee & Boo and played in music circles on the Space Coast of Florida. Nowadays, he donates his time entertaining at senior centers.
Mary Kate Brennan first stepped out and sang onstage at a county fair. She has won vocal competitions and has appeared on NBC's "America's Got Talent.” Her first “real job” was performing in the Wiggles show at Six Flags Great Escape. Inspired by artists such as Loretta Lynn, Mary Kate taught herself to play guitar and began writing songs. She has played in songwriters clubs including Café Lena and the Bluebird Cafe. Since living on the Space Coast of Florida during the past year, she has sung back-up in recording studios, performed with the "Who I Am" band at Melbourne, Florida’s Sonic Waves festival, and sung live on WFIT 89.5 FM.
Bee Zander runs community jams. She sings and plays in a couple of bands and teaches guitar. She started playing guitar as an adolescent, performed in bands in NYC in the 70's, was a music reviewer in Los Angeles in the '80s, and has played with some preeminent guitarists and creatives. One of her favorite activities is sitting knee–to–knee and sharing tunes with folks just about anywhere. Americana, folk, jazz, blues, Newfoundland, Appalachian, Piedmont blues, Country music — Bee sings various styles of music, and has written music and recorded at Paradise Sound Arts. She's engaged currently with Bee and the Hive and with John 'Bumper'Demari's Island Mountain Band.
Jeff Meyer has been playing the bass since he was twelve. Former resident of southern Connecticut he was a member of Out Of Touch and Jam Chowder bands. His diverse musical tastes have led him down many paths — rock, jazz, R&B, soul, reggae, new age, and Americana. He has toured on the national blues circuit with the Johnny Rawls blues revue and played with The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Joe Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult), and Hilton Valentine (Eric Burdon), and Cocoa Beach based guitarist Johan Nilson. Jeff enjoys discussing his intuitive approach to playing the bass. He enjoys finding harmonically diverse ways of fitting bass lines into the music.
Dave Mac donald is jammin' with that mandolin, finding and playing fresh riffs, and he's singing Americana, jazzy blues and bluegrass. Busy with work and family he is able to make time for the music with friends.
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History: Beee's a music lover who has been involved in music scenes in L.A. and NY and performed country music in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and on the Space Coast of Florida. In the 1990's in Newfoundland (Canada) she sang and played Irish music along with music partner in the duo Bee & Boo. As a kid Bee took piano lessons, played in recitals, and sang high soprano in school chorus. At 14 she took folk guitar lessons and after awhile got together with friends to expand her chops. She was jazz guitar student of Billy Bauer (of the Duke Ellington Orchestra). Throughout the 60's & 70's she was fortunate to attend jazz concerts in NYC with her father, Dick Zander, who was a musicologist by avocation and shared appreciation and knowledge of music as well as a substantial collection of jazz, blues, and folk, records. His guidance and inspiration led Beee to develop keen relative pitch, a good 'ear,' a snappy sense of synchopation, and an abiding interest and involvement in music.
At nineteen (in the mid–70’s) Bee moved to the Village and played music in three notable groups:
In the Eighties Beee was at the peak of her typographic graphic arts career. Meanwhile, she played guitar synthesizer in Venice, California along with Zeighta Gold and sat in with friends. A fixture in the club scene, venturing out at night to hear live bands, Bee wrote music reviews. Her fleeting image is captured in Penelope Spheeris Decline of Western Civilization music documentary covering the scene. Bee's music column tracked the development and rise of eminent punk, new wave, metal, and rock groups in L.A.
Here's the Bee buzz: known for work with John ("Boo") Ferris in the duo Bee & Boo, she hosts the Rock the Porch Jam series (on the Space Coast of Florida). Bee devotes time to reaching out and connecting musicians in the community and she teaches guitar as well. • She sings and plays with Big Stick and the Woodies (Melbourne Village, Florida) • She pulls out all the stops in The Acid Cats, 60's acid rock. • Bee sung back-up in Culture George's Blue Light Mento Band. • She sings with John "Bumper" Demari's Island Mountain Band as well as plays lead and rhythm guitar, and their CD will be coming out in the Autumn. • Her namesake band, Bee and the Hive, deliver Americana music replete with three-part harmony, a touch of bluegrass, and acoustic blues. Members of Bee and the Hive are: Beee Zander, Mary Kate Brennan, Jeff Meyer, Dave Macdonald, and Jeff Stanton.
Blue Gee — Bee's Open–G Blues
Big Boss Man — Mel. Village Jam
Instrumentation: Bee: guitar, vocals;
Boo: vocals, guitar, walking dulcimer, harmonica.
Individually Bee and Boo add to the musical community on Florida's Space Coast. Both of them sing and play a variety of blues infused musical styles including Folk, Rock, Irish, Hillbilly, Appalachian, Gospel, Blues, Pop, Standards, Country & Western and Traditional. Their performance career spanned two decades (1996–2016). With over 90 years of musical experience between them, they are now involved in giving back by enhancing local participation in music.
Photo: Stan Collins
Crazy (Willie Nelson)
Pallet on Your Floor (trad.)
Photo ©Gail Carson
Boo (John) has lived in many places in North America including the town of Marshall, North Carolina; Cow Head, Newfoundland in Canada; New York City and the upstate; Southern California, and Washington, D.C.. He's based on Florida’s Space Coast.
Musical Background: He started as a five–year–old song and dance boy. Joined his first rock and blues band in 1965, and has performed solo and in bands, choruses and church choirs for over 50 years.
Musical Influences: Huddie Ledbetter, Blind Willie Johnson, Eric Burdon, Ralph Stanley, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, Elvis Presley, the British Invasion, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and more.
Only the Lonely (Orbison)
I Am the Man, Thomas (Stanley/Sparks)