The Queen City Balladeers is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the traditions of roots music — what is known as Americana music these days — and folk performance in Cincinnati.
Just what is roots/Americana music? The origin of roots/Americana music was and is ordinary people who created music to express the emotions and experiences that emerge from everyday living. Back in the 1960’s, at the height of the folk music revival, much of the music of the day consisted of a mixture of protest songs and traditional ballads from previous centuries.
Today, the roots/Americana genre includes old-time traditional songs, newly written singer/songwriter acoustic songs, blues, Celtic, Cajun zydeco, bluegrass, country, alt-country, and on and on. It even can be said to include some areas of world music such as klezmer, for example.
Artists that fit comfortably under the roots/Americana umbrella range from Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and Dave Van Ronk to 60’s musicians such as Bob Dylan, Tom Rush, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Judy Collins to country classics such as JImmy Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs to singer/songwriters such James Taylor, Shawn Colvin, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and John Prine to more modern acoustic-based musicians such as John Mayer the Dave Mathews Band.
The list of artists and the kinds of musical forms within roots/Americana music continues to evolve.
The Queen City Balladeers’ primary event is the Leo Coffeehouse, held almost every Sunday night from September through May at the Zion United Church of Christ at the intersection of Mound and Montgomery in in Norwood. Door open about 5 p.m. for set-up; there is a song circle/jam that starts about 5:30 and runs until 6:45; performances run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For information the Sunday evening performers, check the Leo Schedule.
The Balladeers also sponsor and assist with other local music events, such as EdenSong (each Friday in July), the Appalachian Festival and many other festivals and concerts in the Tri-State area.
The Queen City Balladeers comprises people from all backgrounds and age groups. Many Balladeers are part-time or full-time musicians, writers, instrument makers, and sound technicians as well as those that are just avid fans of roots/Americana music.