Steve Eulberg,
(Owl Mountain, 2001)

Steve Eulberg has released a very interesting folk CD titled Soaring. The main instrument on most songs is the dulcimer (either mountain or hammered). Steve blends their "sweet music," as he calls it, with guitars, fiddles, jaw harp, banjo, penny whistles, trumpets and various types of percussion.

The point of Soaring was to create a CD showcasing Steve's live act where he trades instruments with other musicians and together they produce a beautiful tapestry of both traditional and original songs. According to the liner notes, Steve was joined on this recording by Russ Hopkins (Blind Monks), Carole & Teresa Lundgren (Random Acts), Mike Moxcey (banjo and "songmeister extraordinaire"), Heather Wegter (harmonies) and Kevin Jones (deep baritone pipes).

I find myself enjoying the four instrumental tunes more than the other seven songs. The title track, "Soaring," is very reminiscent of Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Why Walk When You Can Fly?" which was actually the inspiration. The mountain dulcimer, fiddle and jaw harp work magic in this piece. "Lake Ozark Blues" is a simpler tune combining the mountain dulcimer with some percussion. The best of the instrumentals is, by far, "Reluctant Busboy," which was inspired by Steve's 4-year old son "who was trying to avoid his after-dinner chores," according to the liner notes. To me, it sounds like a fine Irish jig. "Noel New-Velet" is a new take on a 14th-century French tune.

The best vocal selection on Soaring is "Waly, Waly (The Water is Wide)." Steve has the perfect voice for this old Scottish song, which tends to evoke an emotional response whenever I hear it. This is a wonderful rendition. Now, I have to say that Steve does not have the fantastic type of voice that would make you sit up and take notice, but it can be very pleasant to listen to. I would almost bet that when heard live, he sounds exactly like he does on this CD.

Soaring was released by Owl Mountain Music. The record company name is appropriate considering Steve is from Colorado. If you check out their website, you can see a few more CDs that Steve has available.

[ by Wil Owen ]
Rambles: 26 January 2002

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