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Saturday, December 19, 2015

I Wonder as I Wander Bass Mountain Dulcimer Solo

Sometimes the road leads right back home,

but the wondering doesn't stop.

Here I am playing a bass solo on the bass mountain dulcimer I converted from a Hughes Church Dulcimer kit several years ago.

The tune is "I Wonder As I Wander" and is featured on a baritone mountain dulcimer on my CD

'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime and an arrangement of it is is included in my book Dulcimer-Friendly Worship, Vol III: Christmas in a Mellow Mode. 

An .mp3 and the tablature for this arrangement is a reward for supporters of my Patreon Campaign at

I also teach this tune on both mountain and hammered dulcimers at

Friday, November 27, 2015

Invitation to Advent Dulcimer Devotions

Here is an Invitation for you!

I have put together some Advent Dulcimer Devotions, delivered weekly to your email inbox for the 4 weeks of Advent.  

These are instrumental recordings of Advent hymns, played on various ensembles of mountain and hammered dulcimers, sometimes with additional accompaniment.  

They can be just what your centering practice desires for the hectic days and weeks before Christmas actually arrives:

You can sign up here:

or go to my website and sign up in the middle of the page:


Steve Eulberg

PS I will also be giving a Concert Window Concert of Advent Tunes on Monday, Nov 30 at 5:30 pm PST, 6:30 pm MST, 7:30 pm CST, 8:30 pm EST

Monday, November 23, 2015

Patreon Campaign Progress
Since beginning this project in January to help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Owl Mountain Music, Inc. I am now (drumroll please!) 

76% of the way to reaching my goal of 30 patrons in my first year!

This has resulted in our reaching 3 Milestone Goals and being only $8 a month away from reaching the 4th Milestone Goal.  
(Each goal results in additional special rewards for Patrons).

Now here is the real deal, or why I started this project:

9 Projects Completed:

1. Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude arr. for Mountain Dulcimer

4. Another Jig Will Do digitized

5. Dulcimer-Friendly Worship Vol II digitized book and CD

6. Soaring SongBook created, digitized

7. a piece of it all Chord Chart Book created, digitized

9. First Snow for Mixed Dulcimer Quartet Video

New Work Created/Begun:

Traded My Thyroid In (Guitar Tablature)

2 New (unnamed) hammered dulcimer compositions

Progress on 3 new Dulcimer Orchestra Arrangements

The strongest impact for me, however, has been to have this community of support (whose presence challenges me to keep focused!)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

(After the) Concert Window Show

Now THAT was a lot of fun!
Pre-Show set up

I had done a Concert Window Show with my trio, S.E.A (Erin Mae Lewis and Amber Rogers) last month, but this week was the first one I did as a solo, and it was a blast.

Lots of folks tuned in from several different time zones and were very active in posting while I played and sang Gratitude-Themed songs and tunes.

Pre-Show Selfie
While preparing for the show was very much like any other concert, choosing the tunes, designing the Set List, deciding which instrument would play which tune, doing the publicity and reminders about the show, making postcards for my local classes and friends; the real difference is after the show.  Connecting with the people joined in, those who had comments during the show or who left comments afterwards.  Those who chose tips which need rewards sent to them.

All of this is the connection that is sometimes missing after a live concert when I have to pack up my gear and drive back home.

Some of my friends ask if I think the 70/30% split with Concert Window is a fair one.  My answer:  yes.

Not only is the interface and the publicity and the accounting and the follow-up quite intuitive, the quality of the video and sound is higher than some other platforms, AND there is a highlight video created immediately, AND I am able to save an archival copy of the show, provided I make no commercial use of it.   Furthermore, this is a better percentage in favor of the artist that other platforms that I've used in the past.  Finally, your tips and tickets and support was deposited into my bank within 4 days.

Here is the highlight video from the concert:

Ungrateful to These Teachers is the first concert performance of this tune, inspired by a poem by Kahlil Gibran.

I will be giving other Concert Window Shows.  If you want to follow me on Concert Window  here is My Channel.

The next one will be an ADVENT-themed show with tunes from my first all-instrumental recording, Hark, the Glad Sound!  so mark your calendar!

Monday, November 30, 5:30 pm PST, 6:30 pm MST, 7:30 pm CST, 8:30 pm EST

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Working with a Team

Aunt Mabel, who lived next door to us as I grew up, used to say, "Many hands make light the work."

Shellie Baxter Photography
Perhaps because I am primarily a solo touring and performing artist, I have been kerwacked in the best possible way with the awesome joy and power of working together with other partners in a creative venture.

My trio, S*E*A (folkgrass) just completed our 4th tour of the year with a 14-day tour of the middle of the California Coast.  Erin Mae Lewis and Amber Rogers arrived on the 30th Anniversary of my Ordination and we played a Bell Tower Show at St. Philip Episcopal Church in Scotts Valley (near Santa Cruz) to launch the tour.

Band on BART: Amber Rogers Selfie
We had stops in Palo Alto, San Mateo, the beach in Half Moon Bay, Erin and Amber joined Wayne Jiang and Patricia Delich for some Pacifica and San Francisco adventures; we headed as far north as Roseville and returned to San Mateo for an amazing Seasons of Blessing Concert to raise funds for the survivors of the Lake County California fires and give the best-ever Concert Window show.

Then we packed up to enjoy the FarWest Folk Alliance in Oakland for the weekend.  We drew the first slot for the Open Mic at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse on Wednesday night.

There we jammed at every possible opportunity, played for showcases and represented another part of our team, Local 1000 AFM, in the Networking Center, and volunteered for a total of 24 hours to support the conference.
Jeanette Lundgren (Mother Hen Promotions)

I took part in a Panel Workshop on Crowdfunding to talk about another part of my team:  Patreon.

We then gave a workshop called:  Organizing:  The Nuts and Bolts of Touring.

But the best was when we arrived back in my home on Sunday night and Erin exclaimed:  "Let's have a FarWest FollowUp Party tomorrow!"

That sounds a whole lot better than w*o*r*k to me, and you know what, it WAS!

FarWest Photo

And it made me recall how many people's support and commitment helps me to continue making my way in this world as a musician and creative artist.

So Aunt Mabel's words have proven true in my experience, and I just want to say,

Thank-You to ALL OF YOU!

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Nursery for New Dulcimers at Dusty Strings!

This was my joy in the lobby of Dusty Strings when I first met my new BUNDLE of joy (the largest hammered dulcimer they produce!)

They had it all set up with hammers for me to play it and it was ready to come home with me!

With all those notes in the lower register that I've been hungering for...look out!

And you know what, as soon as I took it out for a spin, I began playing an improvised piece in Bm (with two lower octaves of B than I've ever had) and I played with vigor and passion that left me standing there panting!

I believe that is a first for me.

Daughter, Kaitlin, Playing Joni Mitchell Tunes!

I then played it in my sets at Luther's Table  in Renton, WA that night, and at Our Saviour's Lutheran in Bremerton, WA on Sunday Morning, and then up in Port Townsend for a Labor Day jam with my good friend, Robert Force in the best ever room for a house concert that over looks the Puget Sound!

Then back down for a house concert at Anderson Island, sponsored by the Community Center.

I got to have the first spot on the Anderson Island Ferry on the way to the island, which was a treat on this beautiful September afternoon!

The Space Needle and Mt. Ranier.  Wow. Just Wow.

Following the rest of the visit with our daughter, I headed south through Oregon and the smoky wilds of Northern California to bring this baby home!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Amazingness of MailBox Money

by Steve Eulberg

I can't remember the first time I heard the phrase "Mailbox Money" but it has become a surprisingly encouraging experience.

Many years ago (in the mid 1990s), when I was a pastor and shepherding my youth for a week at the Mid-Missouri Bible Camp in the Ozarks, I had taken some pieces of mail with me from C.C.L.I. (Christian Copyright Licensing, Inc.)

These were contracts offered to help worship music composers (like me) to receive income from the communities and congregations who would choose to use my music all over the United States and Canada.

I couldn't imagine how this could work and part of me assumed that this might be some kind of scam, but it was long before I had any real connection to the internet, and besides, no one was using it very much anyway.  Fax machines were the rage, and neither I, nor my small inner-city church, had one.

I patiently (and laboriously) read through every word and paragraph of every page of the contracts, mostly understanding the legalese (although Greek or Hebrew might have been easier!), and chose, in the end, to affix my signature.

I remember showing these contracts to my friends and colleagues who were there with me who were encouragingly impressed.

I was the musician for the week and they were pretty encouraging, but I was preparing to send these documents off in "faith" or what might more accurately be described as a pipe dream.

I mailed the signed and initialed documents in.

Later I received contracts for agreements that covered other countries (South Africa, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Australia & New Zealand.)

Finally, I started to receive semi-annual reports...that INCLUDED CHECKS!  The surprise of mailbox money was producing joy in my life!

So this week was the week that I received the semi-annual report and payment and once again I am touched by this gentle "surprise" in compensation.

But what truly gives me pause and a sense of awe, are the reports that people have used music that I have composed and published, in their worship services in:  England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and all across the United States of America.  And even more impressive is that the annual licenses they purchased to support the composers, and their careful reporting actually sent compensation to me, which means that I receive more mailbox money to help me to continue to create and share music.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

"American Pharoah" The Triple Crown of Dulcimer Festivals

After the marvelous summer I have had touring, I feel like I should be called American Pharoah, because I, too, am a Triple Crown Winner!

My first tour of the season took me to Memphis for a day of workshops and a clinic on jamming together at the home of Betty Dawson in Memphis, TN.  Then a house concert and Nancy and Tom Adams', a workshop at Gilda's Club in Louisville and a house concert at Teri and Larry West's in the south part of town.

Then to Kentucky Music Week, where the copies of my new Playing Blues on the Mountain Dulcimer book had arrived and were waiting for me to have a wedding by adding the Demo CDs.

And what a week it was!  Jean Ritchie Tribute, organized and led by her son, Jon Pickow; stellar concert performances, a week-long class on Resonator Dulcimer, Blues on Hammered Dulcimer, a Noter Style Mountain Dulcimer class and a Dulcimer Orchestra class were highlights.

Captain's Cabin Concert S.E.a
Playing a Backporch concert to the crickets' chirp on a temperate evening in the middle of the week with my bandmates Erin Mae Lewis and Amber Rogers in our trio, S.E.A was memorable and amazing in a completely restored log cabin (Captain's Cabin) that now serves as a B and B!  Then I joined them for their concert set singing our trio arrangement of Hold On.

Steve, Karen Mueller & Heidi Muller in front of
Chief Joseph & Lake Wallowa
I am grateful to the non-playing spouse of a festival participant who gave me an on-time ride to the Louisville airport for my flight home.

The glow had not even worn off in my two-day turn-around at home before I received a "warm welcome" when I landed on the tarmac in Lewiston, ID (where it was 120°) en route to an even better Dulcimer Week in the Wallowas in Joseph, OR.  The relaxed pace and supportive community atmosphere was balm for my weary soul and the magical faculty concert with Karen Mueller, Bob Webb and Heidi Muller remains fixed in the recesses of my memory.

I had amazing classes, the Open Mic revealed talent, commitment, celebration, and laughter that left our sides aching with joy.  (There is a life goal, to be aching with joy!)

My Beginning class in their yurt classroom in Wallowa
Having had two such amazing weeks of musical and educational experiences I was a little nervous about heading east for the final festival of my summer season.

I took a red-eye from San Francisco to Charlotte, NC, had lunch with a friend, then reunited with the parents of my godchildren in Chesapeake, VA, before driving to another Soup and Song House Concert with Charlie and Marilyn Bernhardt in Maryland.

Charlie & Marilyn, Soup and Song House Concerts (10 years!)
Following a short night's sleep, I had a dawn sabbath drive through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and through the northeast corner of Tennessee and down through the Smoky Mountains for a late afternoon arrival at Dulcimer U in Cullowhee, NC.  There is was revealed that my anxiety had nowhere to lay its head!  Larry and Elaine Conger run a fantastic festival in this verdant setting, I was very excited to be invited to return to teach here.  And my time with my classes and two different mountain dulcimer ensembles were marvelous celebrations of people playing beyond their fears to experience the delight that comes when they relax and do this together!

My classes this week were as enthusiastic, attentive and adventurous as the others had been.  The fun and mischief that arises when people create a Brigadoon-like community together bubbled with joy.

Soundcheck view, through Lorinda Jones' harp
I have been part of many faculty concerts which can be a crazy quilt of performances, but this time something of the veil between the worlds of the mundane and the spectacular opened up and everyone's tune choices, transitional stories and the overall flow of both sets let us have a little taste of heaven...and it was a tasty nectar, too.

So..I believe I won the triple crown this summer and am glad to wear the name American Pharoah!
Dulcimers on high in the Wallowas!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dulcimers for David, Too! D4D2

by Steve Eulberg

(Here is my review of this generous project that was published in the Spring 2015 issue of Dulcimer Players News--everyone interested in either kind of dulcimers should subscribe and receive this beautiful and informative quarterly in your snail mail box!)

“Just listen to the dulcet tones of the dulcimer!” I can still hear David's Schnaufer's voice in my memory as I write that phrase.

Asleep at my hosts' home of on a recent tour, the dulcet tones of the tunes on this new CD were very sweet as they gently called me to awaken and savor them. I was so glad to hear this CD, because my copy had not yet arrived in my mailbox before I left on tour. Now that I've returned home and keep listening I continue to be delighted.

This project includes some previously unreleased tracks played by David himself, or ones from out-of-print recordings (Norwegian Wood, Elk River Blues/Sandy River Belle) as well as some played by David with students and friends (Jim Curley, John Hartford, Vince Farsetta, Bonnie Carol and Lee Rowe). I'm particularly taken by his frailing style on a banjomer on Cumberland Gap which opens the CD, and his note­r & quill playing of Sally Anne on a Tennessee Music Box.

Another tune was composed by David and played by others: Twilight Eyes by Tull Glazener & Molly McCormack, and yet another was composed by David with Rachel Dennison (sister of Dolly Parton) performed here with Debbie Porter.

Still others have been submitted by a stellar line-up: The Wright Family (with an uncredited performance by Don Pedi), Maddie MacNeil & Rhodes Wooly, Thomasina, Aubrey Atwater & Elwood Donnelly, Sue Carpenter, Doug Berch, Vince Farsetta and Karen Mueller.

A special delight is the inclusion of Blackberry Blossom by the Nashville Dulcimer Quartet (Sandy Conatser, Lee Rowe, Linda Sack and Natasha Deane, all students and friends of David.) This tune has special significance because it is the central theme in the concerto he wrote with Conni Elisor and recorded on his 1998 CD Delcimore.

(In the interest of transparency, my duo, Fiddle Whamdiddle, also have a track on this CD. We chose Barlow Knife, a tune I first recall hearing David play on Stage II at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. I then taught that tune to my fiddling partner, Vi Wickman, and we recorded it as part of our Old School Old-Time project that honors the people that shared this music with us. My curiosity is eager to know the reasons why others chose the tunes they donated to this project.)

While the music on this recording is top notch and that reason alone is enough to recommend it for your musical collection, there is another, even more compelling reason to purchase this CD.

The 1st National Mountain Dulcimer Champion, David was very dedicated to sharing music with others and as Associate Dulcimer Professor at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University he did just that. Several of his young students went on to become champions and professional players and teachers of this instrument.

To continue the sharing of the music of this “user-friendly” instrument, Debbie Porter produced a recording in 2007 called Dulcimers for David, the goal of which is to raise funds to purchase dulcimers to be given to children. As of this writing, 33 dulcimers have been placed into the hands of children, teens and young adults who express an interest in playing.

Dulcimers for David, Too (D4D2) continues the sharing of his generous legacy. The sale of just 13 CDs at $15 a piece covers the cost of each instrument. In fact, some clubs have purchased CDs to raise the necessary funds to acquire instruments for young players!

If you'd like to apply or know of someone who would like to receive a dulcimer, have them write to Debbie at to make that request.

CDs are available from Debbie Porter at and from selected other locations as well.

(Note:  After the original publication of this review, I heard from Doug Thompson that David only recorded with his banjo-mer, made by Doug.  This printing corrects my earlier mistaken reference.)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Another Project Released with Steve as Session Musician!

Being a musician has another way of offering awesome experiences:

One can be contracted to work as a Guest Artist, or Session Musician on another musician's project.

My supervisor at Peninsula Music Together, Pam Donkin, referred me to Andy Zamenes, who needed some traditional instrumentation for his upcoming project.

Andy (aka Andy Z) and I settled on hammered dulcimer as what he needed for a couple of tracks on his new project, Classic Songs & Tunes.

After consultation and working with the tracks we sent, I met him at the studio last November in Livermore where he was recording and mixing the tracks.  

Here are a couple of views from my corner in the middle of the sound baffles:

A short while later the tracks were completed, and today Andy gave me my copy of the CD so I finally got to hear the completed project.

It is a sincere joy to collaborate with fine musicians and help them bring their vision to fruition!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Killing It In the Streaming Age: A New Book for Musicians

I've been a part of the Standing "O" Project for over a year.

This project is called Socially Responsible Streaming by it's founders:  John Dillon and Viv Nesbitt.

John and Viv love original songs and the singers of new and old songs.

They host a radio show (The Art of the Song Creativity Radio) which is heard on over 150 radio stations across North America.

They also want singer/songwriters to thrive and invited their featured artists to share money-making tips from their experience.   The result is an idea-packed book titled, "Killing It in the Streaming Age."

This book is available in hard copy on and as a Kindle ebook.

I contributed a chapter in which I talk about how profitable and supportive it was for me to join the musician's union (Local 1000 AFM--American Federation of Musicians.)

You can order the book here: (and you can look through the book for free!)

You can also find out about the Standing "O" Project here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

900 Voices Video to be released April 9

Just before I moved to California, in the fall of 2013, I met soon-to-be-Grammy-winning composer and pianist,  Laura Sullivan, through our mutual NARAS (National Academy of Recording and Arts Sciences) connections.

After winning the Grammy in the New Age Category for her Love's River recording, she conceived of a Global Love Song Project early last year.  

She invited several friends and colleagues to help her launch the project by creating selfie-videos singing various parts of the song which are then blended together into an amazing harmonious whole.

"We Are Love"

Since the launch of the project, 938 different people from 27 different countries have contributed audio and video for the project.

(My photo is is the 2nd from the left in the middle of this screen shot and I am honored to be a part of this collaborative effort.)

"Love, We Are One"

Last fall, I was conducting the Coastside Lutheran Church choir in Half Moon Bay in the interim between directors and the members of that choir were game to sing and record their parts as well!

You can see them at the right edge of the screen shot below (3rd from the top).

The final video goes live on April 9th!

You can see it at

You can also see the amazing list of participants!

I hope you'll take a look and listen and share with broadly with your friends and family!

"We Are Love"

Monday, March 23, 2015

Singing with John McCutcheon

My friend and colleague and long-distance mentor, John McCutcheon, has just released a recording commemorating the 100th anniversary of the (legal) assassination of union organizer and songwriter, Joe Hill.

The composer of songs like Casey Jones and The Preacher and The Slave, Joe composed songs to be used at union meetings and on picket lines and rallies.  It was in this tradition I've been proud to stand while serving as a co-coordinator of the Religion and Labor Council in Kansas City, and while serving my union locals (American Federation of Musicians, Local 1000, DMA 20-623 and Local 6).

So when John offered the invitation to Local 1000 members to join the Labor Chorus on the final cut of this CD There Is Power in the Union, I was eager to jump at the chance.

With the wonders of modern technology, I was able to take the tracks that John sent from Georgia to work with my friend and engineer, Oscar Autie at El Cerrito Studio in California and add my voice(s) to the Labor Chorus.

I am excited to hear the final released track this morning as I write this blog post.  Can't wait to hear the rest of the tunes....I bet you can't either!  You can get your copy at this link.

(Disclaimer: I have no economic interest in this project, just proud to be part of it.)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Gut-String Gourd Banjo

While looking for something else in storage this week, I was able to find the documentation of this fun adventure in patience, support and partnership in musical instrument construction that I want to share here!

It was after hearing Mike Seeger play a fretless, gut-string banjo at Winfield several years ago that I feel in love with that warm sound and thus began a hankering.

It was only natural to purchase the banjo neck from the Deering cast-off bin just inside the vending space at Winfield the following year.  And, as the story below attests, that neck lived in two cities in two different states for a few years before meeting its life-partner, a gourd from Kentucky.

(You can click here to see this page full-size)

The finding of that gourd was interesting.  

Colorado is not known for its many gourds, but when I inquired on a mountain dulcimer listserv about a source for acquiring a suitable gourd, Lorinda Jones from Kentucky replied, "I've got an attic full of them!"

So we bartered.  I agreed to swap a complete set of my Dulcimer-Friendly Evening Prayer Service for a gourd that she would send me.

However, first we had to determine the size I needed.  My research thus far had suggested that gourd banjos in the 1800s were usually tuned to an open D tuning, rather than the open G tuning that is in common use today with instruments that have a steel tone ring.  My sources also suggested that I would need a goatskin head 8"-9" in diameter.  I found the head from a nearby drum maker who purchased his goatskins from Pakistan and I communicated my size needs to Lorinda.

But she responded, "Diameter?  I can only measure circumference!"

Uh oh.  I swore to Mr. Gerke, my high school geometry teacher that, not only was I NEVER going to need what I learned in his class EVER in my life, but that I wasn't going to REMEMBER it, either.

is what came into my head!

"Where did that come from?" I demanded from my disobedient brain!  "I promised I wasn't going to remember any of that stuff."

Then I realized I was going to need to find what


 I wonder how to find that?

"3.1417" pops into my head.

"Well, I'll be doggoned!" I think in amazement, everything is up in this noggin to help me accomplish the deal.  I did the math using the equation and the constant and Lorinda shipped me a mottled-looking gourd with specific, detailed instructions on how to clean it.

After soaking it in the kitchen sink in a dish soap and bleach solution and turning it every 30 minutes, I took a paring knife and scraped off the detritus to find this beautiful, butternut colored gourd.

Charley Gannon, of what used to be Osprey Music in Fort Collins, helped me with some binding and fret-position filler on the neck and then it was time for the final construction.

(You can click here to see this page full-size)

With the cooperation of all of us, including the required investment made by a school teacher with an unwilling student,  this project was completed!

Monday, February 23, 2015

An early demo of Set Your Back to the Setting Sun

This is the bluegrass-style demo for this tune which was first published as a choral tune for the suite of songs I was commissioned to compose and arrange for the Rainbow Chorus in Fort Collins, CO. 

It was part of the Beginnings world premiere concert in spring 2000, which was recorded that same year and performed in San Jose at the GALA International Choralfest. 

This demo was in consideration for my recording produced by Ken Whiteley of Pyramid Records, Toronto, Ontario. At his suggestion, we changed the chord shapes and a swinging blues version resulted. 
That is the one that made it to the track list of my 2007 release: a piece of it all which continues to receive radio airplay and charting, 8 years later!
Now it is offered as an example of what will be offered to my patrons on Patreon when I reach the first milestone goal of $50 in pledges a month...only $14 away. What to join me and help put us over the top?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Photos from the Seasons of Blessing Inaugural Concert

Maggie Timeus shared this photos from the Inaugural Concert of the 
Seasons of Blessing Concert Series on January 25th.   
Don't miss the next one! 

Doug Adamz steel guitar and blues harp

Fiddle Tunes Finale

The runaway fingers of "Horse Sense"
"Little Peaker" duet on Doug's original tune
"May the Light of Love" duet with Kaitlin

Meeting Victor, a JamPlay Student!
"Lake Ozark Blues"

Remembering Dad's stories

Chris Benson, series co-sponsor

Galax finish flourish