The Queen City String Band had its roots in the early 1980s when John and Jim began touring and playing for dances. Early ensembles included Jason and Alan Bent, Mitch Klein, Larry Hamberlin, and others. In the mid-1980s they enlisted Rich Ritz on piano and toured the eastern states with callers Scott Russell and Susan Davis. Eloise joined them soon after, and the trio played until recently as "John, Jim, and Eloise." After Chris joined the group, the sound and friendship seemed to gel, and they decided to give the band a name, the Queen City String Band.

We cleave mightly to the pre-WWII old-time sound, cranking out the old classics with unflagging enthusiasm.

The band’s home base is the Cincinnati, the Queen City, and the contra dance where we play around six time each year. You can find out when to see us on the schedule.

Eventually we will get some samples up, but for now all we have are the snippets at our CD Baby Webstore

We have determined our "birthday" was way back in 1982, in Bloomington, Indiana, when John and Jim first played together. Be on the lookout in 2017 for festivities as we celebrate our quarter-century of making music together!

QCSB Tunes

Sweet Bundy ~ White River Bottom

Green Mountain Petronella

Goin' To Town

Dickey's Discovery ~ Martha Campbell

Bruce's Return

John Bealle, fiddle

John grew up in Alabama where he listened to contest fiddling and bluegrass in the 1970s. He soon moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where he heard the intoxicating sounds of young bands like the Highwoods Stringband and played with Steve Proescher, Bob Zentz and others. In 1976 he moved to Bloomington, Indiana, to study folklore, and has written on old-time music and on Sacred Harp singing. He spends his days creating indexes for books and nights prowling for great Cincinnati music.

Jim Johnson, guitar

As a youth Jim roamed the wilds of undeveloped forests near his home in Mooresville, Indiana. He attended Indiana University to study music and stringed instrument technology, and while a student there established an organic farm south of Bloomington. He has also repaired heavy equipment, built his own house, and repaired pianos. In 1989 he moved to Cincinnati and with his partner Judy Doyle opened a violin rental shop, Strings N’ Things.

Eloise Clark, banjo

Eloise grew up in Denver and studied music throughout her childhood. At Oberlin College she was introduced to old-time music and took up banjo. In the 1980s she moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where she enjoyed the music scene there and began playing with John and Jim. She works in performance improvement at TriHealth.

Chris Haas, bass

Born in Cleveland, Chris’s father was a well-known artist (Paul Haas) and his mother was a musician. In the 1970s, he and his siblings formed a family old-time band, the Maple Hill Rounders, that played at square dances and festivals; one important performance was at the first Kent State Folk Festival. Chris studied medicine with the idea of becoming a country doctor, and established his first practice in Whitesburg, Kentucky, partly to be near the Appalshop artists; he delivered 243 babies while practicing there. He now lives in Georgetown, Ohio, and works in a family practice group there. In addition to QCSB, he plays in the band Flew Da Coop with fiddler Roger Cooper.