I stand within the tradition of handmade, acoustic, home-grown music, giving life to old songs and tunes and songs by passing them on while creating new ones to add to the mix.
The warm vibrations and resonance of wood and strings inspire in me a hope I am compelled to share with audiences.
I bring virtuosity and surprise to performances; thoughtful songwriting which utilizes humor; honoring and stretching traditional expectations, and like jazz--bringing new perspectives to embrace the broken lives and tattered fringes of life and re-weave them into strands of hope.
I play the hammered dulcimer which is present in cultures across the globe and the mountain dulcimer which has crossed cultural boundaries to be adopted by people outside of its origins.
There is an ancestral resonance that people feel when hearing these instruments brings a human tribal unity to those in the audience.
I use the vibrations of wood and string, playing and singing traditional songs and fiddle tunes; weaving together Celtic, Old-time, blues and jazz to create “Smile-inducing, toe-tapping, thought-provoking folkgrass.”
Interview with Steve Eulberg - Acoustic Musician
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: Pemberville, a small farming community in the Great Black Swamp of northwestern Ohio.
Q: What made you realize that music was your path? A: When I couldn't get away from it. No matter what I was doing, music was dogging my steps! A good dog, too.
Q: How would you describe the music that you typically create?
A: I prefer the timbre of acoustic instruments overall, but what I'm looking for is music that moves my soul, and touches and moves the soul of listeners, too.
Q: Who are your biggest musical influences?
A: Jim Croce, John McCutcheon, Libbis Cotten, Jean Ritchie, George Heckman (the bandstand fiddler from Pemberville as I grew up), the church organists and choir directors from my home church, Larry McCormack, Dave Wheeler, Eric Christianson, Dan Fogelberg, Heidi Mueller, Esther Kreek, Janita Baker, John Denver, Elton John and Wynton Marsalis.
Q: What makes your music unique?
A: Instrumentation: mountain and hammered dulcimers can (and like to!) play a broader variety of music than is often expected. Rootedness: in the earth, in the traditions of the past, integrating today with yesterday for tomorrow. Playfulness: surprising listeners with what they didn't know they really expected. Thoughtfulness: the Other angle to view from.
Q: Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you're most proud of?
A: Singing "I Said Nothing" (an original setting of Martin Niemoeller's famous post-world war II quote) in concerts in Berlin, Germany, most notably in the church where he served when forming the resistance to the Nazis ("The Confessing Church"); the church from which he was arrested to be "Hitler's Special Prisoner" (at Sachsenhausen) from 1937 to 1945. People in the audience knew and remembered him and spoke to me of the power of hearing that song in 2006.
Q: What's next for you?
A: I am finishing up a book/CD entitled: "Playing Blues on the Mountain Dulcimer" and am working on my Patreon Campaign to digitize and preserve my back catalogue of books and recordings, as well as create new music.
Current Bio - Steve Eulberg
“... a superb dulcimer player ... and a first rate composer.”—Neal Walters, Dulcimer Players News
He’s a versatile full-time folk musician who specializes in fretted and hammered dulcimers, but his first instrument was his mother’s ukulele. At a youth retreat the weekend after Jim Croce’s plane went down, he became so fired up about the guitar that he grabbed the only thing in the house with strings. His mother wanted her ukulele back so that Christmas, he got a guitar. As a college student, he heard his first dulcimers, but never thought he could afford his own. It wasn’t until graduate school when he realized that he wouldn’t have to live on peanut butter sandwiches the rest of his life, because the Hughes Dulcimer Company was just down the street. He bought a kit and built his first dulcimer. It’s been love ever since - through a career performing folk for kids to seniors, as a composer, and as an inner-city pastor, this award-winning touring musician brings joy to all who hear him.
He’s been called an Appalachian Jimmy Buffet because of his personable stage presence and warm voice, but Buffet doesn’t have Steve’s on-the-money musicianship on dulcimers and more. Whether he’s tapping out a joyful traditional tune like “St. Anne’s Reel,” or an original like “Blacktail Weasel and the Groundsquirrel Clan,” he’s showcased the versatility of these instruments in a variety of venues, from a featured spot at the Walnut Valley Festival (Winfield, KS), to the Cheyenne Celtic Festival (Cheyenne, WY), to the John F. Kennedy School (Berlin, Germany). He’s also played in many liturgical settings, including St. Annen Kirche (the church which Rev. Martin Niemöller served), and as a featured artist at the Christian Church-Disciples of Christ Washington State Convention. In 2012 alone, he did 183 performances.
He has produced 15 recordings; the newest, Old School Old Time, was released in December 2012 and recorded with third-generation fiddler Vi Wickham. Calling themselves Fiddle Whamdiddle (the latter is slang for hammered dulcimer), this collection of old-time folk includes tunes they “can’t remember not knowing.” Steve offers his considerable hammered dulcimer talents on “Fisher’s Hornpipe,” and “Golden Slippers,” the latter a song that Steve jokes is the hammered dulcimer’s national anthem. He plays a mountain dulcimer on “Barlow Knife” and “Boil ‘em Cabbage Down,” a standard with dulcimer players and one of the first songs he ever learned. Other songs feature both fretted and hammered dulcimers. It all makes for a knee-slapping good time.
Other releases include A Piece of it All (2007), I Celebrate Life (2005), Random Acts of Fiddling (2005, with Carole and Teresa Lundgren), and many more, including contemporary and traditional folk, some for general audiences and some, done in the folk tradition and performed in and outside of religious settings.
Steve has a musical soul influenced by many, including Tchaikovsky, Jean Ritchie, and Stevie Wonder. He’s shared the stage with folk artists John McCutcheon, Bryan Bowers, Maggie Sansone, Emma’s Revolution, and Mundy Turner. Steve is a five-time National Winner in Mountain Dulcimer and a three-time National Finalist for Hammered Dulcimer, in addition to other honors.
His music has appeared on National Public Radio and on United Airlines Inflight Audio; his “Soaring” was licensed by PBS’ RoadTrip Nation. Several songs have charted on The Music Review, including “War Is Sweet,” which topped the Independent Country chart in September 2007. In the Roots Music Report for November and January 2013, he had 3 albums in the Top 50.
He also plays guitar, bass, piano and hand percussion. His mother is lucky that his musical curiosity led him to many wonderful places. Otherwise, she never would’ve gotten that ukulele back.
www.owlmountainmusic.com www.steveeulberg.com www.reverbnation.com/steveeulberg firstname.lastname@example.org 970-222-8358
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