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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wading in the Muck of His Anxieties

Hear the buzzing flies
Feel the solar heat
     squint from the harsh brightness of its gaze
Smell the rich, wet, fertile mud
Hear it squishing beneath the soles of boots
Feel the suction as each foot lifts
     for another step
     Resistant impedance to speed

See dragonflies inspecting this
     Intrepid explorer
Frogs leaping sideways
     as he prepares to pass

See swaying reeds
     cattails & sawgrass
An egret taking flight

Yes, there is worry here
     but here also is beauty.

The sometimes breeze ripples
across the tops
of the standing stalks
who sway in response—
     dance in time with the music's pulse
     in a laconic trance
from a firmly rooted stance—

See his wonder dawn:
He envies their home
     in this place as he,
     a supposed mere traveler,
     wanders through

He has had to enter
despite his terror
resisting his fear
to behold these glories

Wondering if
what he thinks is true
is what he now knows:

Must he leave them?
Can he leave them

when this marsh beholds him?

5.17.17 ©Steven B. Eulberg

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Co-writing with Charlie King

What Do They Make On Wall Street?

Words by Charlie King, Tune by Steve Eulberg

One of my Local 1000 colleagues (and songwriting heroes) and I agreed to collaborate on a creative project while in the networking sessions of our annual retreat at the Ashokan Center in May 2016.

I offered that I love to set poetry and lyrics to music and Charlie said he was looking for collaboration on a new song.  He sent me his lyrics and I took them with me on tour, mulling over melodic ideas.

This particular set of lyrics posed a challenge:  The chorus suggested a very upbeat sing-a-long style, but the lyrics change each time through.  This can make singing along for an audience difficult.

The verses felt like they were in a different, more reflective tone.

While I was driving in Ohio and West Virginia and Kentucky, the chorus was quite quickly settled, but the verses required some tweaking....  During one off-day, motel stay, in a non-smoking room that had clearly been recently flooded--(so much so that I didn't take my shoes off while walking on parts of the carpet!), AND which reeked of cats!!, I was strumming the chords that became the ultimate framework for the song.

I got home, recorded a demo for Charlie and sent it off to him.  Working with the amazing production skills of our colleague Reggie Harris, the tune acquired a klezmer-like clarinet and feel as the 2nd tune on Charlie's 2017 recording, Life & Love, Tears & Laughter.

Here are the lyrics and chords for the demo (click on the title above or here)

What Do They Make On Wall St
Lyrics©2016 Charlie King/Pied Asp Music 
Tune©2016 Steve Eulberg/Owl Mountain Music, Inc.

(lick) c-b-a-g#-a-f-e-d-c-b-a Am 
           Am                          E7
I was reading the Wall St. Journal
Studying the secret of wealth
            Dm                        Am
How a corporation issues capital stock
                 B7                      E
And then sells it back to itself
                  F                    C
How they buy up other companies
               Dm                        Am
And then run them into the ground
                        F                                D7/F#
So what's the hitch? How do they get rich
                 G                          G7
On this financial merry-go-round

(c b)                C                  F            C
       Tell me what do they make on Wall St.
        F                         G           C
To make the world a little bit better?
         F                   G              C
Vermont makes sweet maple syrup
       Am           D7              G
Wisconsin the very best cheddar
           F                         G
They grow those big potatoes
            C               Am
In the fields of Idaho
           F                 G           Am
But what do they make on Wall St.
    F            G            Am (lick up: c- d-e-g-c)
What is it that they grow?

Am                                          E7
Brockton, Mass, where I was born
A shoe town, tough and gritty
 Dm                                      Am
Gary and Pittsburgh were steel towns then, 
       B7                          E
Detroit was the Motor City
         F                                         C
The beer that made Milwaukee famous
          Dm                  Am
Ain't made there any more
       F                                   D7/F#
Wall St. bought 'em for the bottom line
           G                           G7
And moved them all off shore.

(c b)                 C                 F              C
        Tell me what do they make on Wall St.
        F                         G           C
To make the world a little bit better?
            F           G           C
While Rosie is riveting airplanes 
         Am           D7           G
Mailcarriers deliver de letter 
           F                          G
The people who knead dough
                         C                       Am
Use Kansas wheat beneath the snow
          F                  G            Am
But what do they make on Wall St.
    F            G           Am (lick up: c- d-e-g-c)
What is it that they grow?

           Am                                  E7
Henry Ford invented the Model T
And put Uncle Sam at the wheel
 Dm                                   Am
Carnegie built the rolling mills
                 B7                         E
Because Henry needed the steel
          F                               C
Mr. Peabody hauled the mountain away
           Dm                 Am
Sold Carnegie all the coal
            F                  D7/F#
Now Wall St. Strip-mines it away
            G                      G7
And leaves us this big hole

(c b) C                               F             C
      Tell me what do they make on Wall St.
      F                           G           C
To make the world a little bit better?
F                     G                     C
Teachers can make the kids smarter 
Am                  D7              G
Grandma can knit you a sweater 
           F                          G
They grow those big tomatoes
            C               Am
In the fields of Ohio
          F                  G           Am
But what do they make on Wall St.
F                G            Am
What is it that they grow?
F G C (lick down: c-b-a-g-e-d-c) C 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

All the Good Ones

Overheard from a radio conversation:
"All the good ones are married... ."

Did you ever think that
they are "good ones"
as a result of marriage?

Not just that
it's somehow easier
to want the unhave-able
but that the process of marriage
hones and polishes like a gem tumbler
so that even the roughest of raw ore
in the daily grind and rub of relationship
begins to be worn
smooth and shiny
like the
tawny topaz?

©Steven B. Eulberg

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Not My Monkey New Recording by Fiddle Whamdiddle

Vi and I have been hard at work and have finally sent our newest recording off to the manufacturer this week!

Not My Monkey features our original tune (by the same name), John Denver's Matthew, Aura Lea (written in 1861 by a relative of Vi's Grandmother, George R. Poulton) and several other old-time favorites.

Recorded over 3 years, by two very gifted engineers (Latin-Grammy-winning Oscar Autie, of El Cerrito Studio, in El Cerrito, California) and Darren Radach, of Stout Studios in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Darren also served as the mixing engineer and the recording was mastered by Randy LeRoy of Airshow Mastering, Tacoma Park, Maryland.

Cover art was photographed and designed by Christina Gressianu, Loveland, Colorado.

We expect delivery by the first of February with a projected release date of March 1, 2017.

Pre-Order today and get your copy as soon as it arrives...with free postage!  (use the code: iwantmymonkey at checkout)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

In the Studio, Fiddle Whamdiddle Recording

Here are views from our studio work, preparing and recording for our new Fiddle Whamdiddle CD:

Hammered Dulcimer Studio Collage ((photo: Steve Eulberg)

Latin Grammy-Winning Engineer, Oscar Autie (photo: Steve Eulberg)
El Cerrito and hammered dulcimer ((photo: Steve Eulberg)

Starting the day with Galax! (photo: Steve Eulberg)

Vi tracking (photo: Steve Eulberg)

Finishing the day with mountain dulcimer (photo: Steve Eulberg)

Dulcimer Player's View (photo: Steve Eulberg)

Vi Tracking, Darren at the controls (photo: Steve Eulberg)

Darren at the controls, Stout Studio (photo: Vi Wickam)

Vi at El Cerrito (photo: Kenya Autie)

Working out the Arrangement (photo: Kenya Autie)

Steve, Kenya, Vi & Oscar (photo: Oscar Autie)

Steve at El Cerrito (Photo: Kenya Autie)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Gig Stories: Fan Connections at F.A.N. Benefit in Ballard

Musicians say,  "There are great gigs and then there are great stories."

And then there are some gigs which are full of great stories!

This benefit concert for Faith Action Network (FAN) in Seattle, hosted by Ballard First Lutheran Church in July was a great gig that was full of stories.

A benefit for F.A.N. with amazing "fan" stories, that is:

1)  I had finished the first set and was standing in the reception hall where the goodies and cold drinks were being served when a woman walks up to me and says,

"You haven't seen me in 37 years.  My name is Cheryl Cooper-Kohring, and I used to be a member of your church in Pemberville, Ohio, and was a good friend of your mother's."

Me:  "Wow!" (in amazing recognition!) "We sang a duet together on Christmas Eve one year."

She:  "Wow! I can't believe you remember that!"....

And the stories and conversations continued as we unraveled the tales of where both of us have been in the intervening years,  after the loss of her first husband to an accident, she found the new life and love which produced her now-grown children in Seattle, where she has lived more than 30 years.

She continued:  "When I saw the flyer publicizing the concert, and read your name, I said to myself, 'That has to be the same guy' and so I "googled' you and sure enough, you are!  So I just had to come tonight.

I just live around the corner and I often go into Dusty Strings and think that I need to play a dulcimer.

2)  A second woman, visiting Seattle from Argentina, transfixed by the mountain sound, wanted to know how she could get a mountain dulcimer and learn to play it in her home country when she returns.  (I remember that longing well!)

3)  A third woman said that she is a member of the church that my good friend Jeff Lilley pastors in Honolulu.  (I had begun the concert, as I often to, with the song and story "a ship may be safe" which Jeff and I finished writing after our maiden voyage on his handmade sailing boat on Thanksgiving Eve in Kansas several years ago.)  She lives part time in Honolulu and part-time in Seattle.

4)  A fourth woman brought me greetings from a fellow song-writing retreat participant from the Grünewald Guild.  It turns out that she is the one who encouraged her friend, Diane from Kent, Washington to attend that retreat.  My daughter, employed by the host congregation in Seattle, is the one who invited me to attend that gathering!  This particular longitude and latitude brought people from opposite areas together in a third location to begin a friendship!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Prime the Pump at Grunewald Guild

The Centrum
COMING UP:  Sept 8-11, 2016  Space is limited, sign up early!

After experiencing the marvelous songwriting retreat at the Guild this spring,
I am honored to be leading this Musicianship & Creativity retreat (with the exciting cooperation of visual artist, Sarah Jane) at the Grünewald Guild in Leavenworth, Washington next month and would love to have you join us!

There is limited space available (only 12-count'em, twelve),
AND, if you sign up by August 15th, you get a discount! (Is that cool or what?)

What is this about?

Often we have scouted the terrain and have the well dug and the pump installed but nothing is being brought up to the surface.

Or, we can recall the excitement of the gusher days when all the cool, refreshing underground well-water came pouring forth freely, but these days the pump cranks and cranks and nothing is coming.

And we can feel fear and the encroaching doubts of our clinical interior critics pointing out our failures and nagging us with reasons why we do not deserve to be creating at all.

Or we are just anxious to find our audience, the thirsty seekers of what flows from our fountains.

Sometimes we need to focus our attention on Priming the Pump which in this retreat we will do by exploring some different, hands-on art forms to uncover the fruits of this cross-pollination for our own musicianship.

Start your Fall Season off by Priming your Pump in this focused, intentional setting!

I'd love to be able to share this experience with you in this marvelous setting.

Here are some of my photos from the gathering in March & April.  
I can't wait to see the late summer/beginning of Autumn in the Cascades, 
and I'd love to celebrate it with you!
While she plays my soul is filled


The fallen stump sprouts new growth...

Perfect outdoor office!