May 3, 2016

Steve Eulberg: smile-inducing, toe-tapping, folkgrass

Barefoot Ballett on guitar. Highlight from Steve's "I Am A Pond" Concert Window Show

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Three Times

“Three times, you may deny me, as Peter, before the cock crowed two….”

I was still in high school when I penned these lyrics, working the song over and over in the lounge of my home church in Pemberville, Ohio.

As is common with vibrant teens, my heart was longing for a just-out-of-reach love focus, and it was all mixed up with my faith language, in the traditional (although I didn’t yet know it) vein of pietist poetic verse.

And these interchanges between Jesus and his disciple, Peter, had always held my fascination.  In one of the King James Gospels the archaic “thrice” was used for three times and I latched on to that word, and from there the story, not of betrayal, but of denial and disappointment.  I supposed this echoed my own life more than the out-right betrayal by Judas, and seemed a little more “acceptable” even thoguh it was really a “I’m scared and I’m going to try and lie my way out of danger” story.

So after all this is predicted and occurs, we then hear what Jesus didn’t speak in the story so directly.

“…but I’ll still love you.”

Three Times (listen)

As I began playing this song for the worship around the tables in the fellowship hall of the church where my spouse is pastor, my mind simultaneously flashed through 40 years of Maundy Thursdays and other performances of this song:

Singing with Beloved, a youth singing group from my home church, Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran, from beside the choir loft, the first time it was sung in worship—on Maundy Thursday.

In concerts with Beloved, including a set at the Lutheran Youth Encounter (LYE) Congress in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Sharing the song with the LYE team who came and worked with our youth group for a summer week of faith and fun, and then hearing that they took the song back and sang it for the final gathering of all the summer youth teams where it was a hit. (!)

Singing this song on a television interview program, taped in an actual television studio in Columbus, Ohio, (although the interview was for a college class on television production.)

And then (I believe) in every congregation I’ve been affiliated with throughout college and seminary, in Columbus, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Fort Collins and San Mateo for 40 years.

And as we sang the song last night, feet and hands were being washed as a sign of service, which some people call the other sacrament commanded by Jesus in the gospel of John; voices were raised in a reminder that even though we fall away, even though we deny, even though our courage falters…

…that love remains and holds us.

After publishing this post, I learned that YouthEncounter, the subsequent name of Lutheran Youth Encounter, is closing its doors on April 3rd.  While I am sad to learn this news, I am also grateful for their service and inspiration since 1965.

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Backing Tracks Library

Here is a view of the new Backing Tracks Library which is a resource at for Premium Members. Backing tracks are a way to play along with a “band” while not having to worry about any egos (yours or theirs!) or other people who are going to get knocked off track when you make an […]

Now for something different on Valentine’s Day!

by Steve Eulberg

Dear Patrons,  (This post was originally written on my PATREON page.  If you’d like to be MY supporter, you can click on this link to find out how your support helps me.)

This post is unusual because it isn’t about what I’ve been able to produce, but it IS about how art inspires art.  

Grit Laskin,  a member of my union local (Local 1000 AFM-American Federation of Musicians), is a builder of amazing guitars.  (I have loved every one that I’ve had a chance to play!)

Grit’s artistry is not confined to the sonic qualities of building, but he is particularly known for the visual artistry in the one-of-a-kind inlay that he custom designs and builds on the headstock and necks of his guitars.

I have only seen a few of these in person, but I was transfixed by his now-out-of-print coffee table book, A Guitarmaker’s Canvas—The Inlay Art Of Grit LaskinThe beauty and imagination from those pages inspired me.

As my local 1000 sister, Cathy Fink, says in the video above, not only is she fortunate to be Grit’s friend for 40 years, she and Marcy are stewards of some of his instruments, which inspire them in their music-making and creation.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, here is my Valentine for you, my patrons:  this art, to which I have no connection other than being drawn in and bewitched by its beauty, gives me encouragement to follow my muses as they whisper and beckon me forward on my creative path.

Your support helps me to keep my focus and move forward on the stumbling steps of creativity.  Thanks for being my Valentines!


Scenes from the 28th CWA Congress

In many parts of the Europe, the hammered version of the dulcimer is known as a Cimbalom.

The Cimbalom World Association (CWA) held its 28th Congress in the UK, sponsored by the Nonsuch Dulcimer Club. This gathering…

FINALIST in 2015 Song Contest!

I received the following email this morning:”Dear Steve,  Congratulations The MY HERO Project  and Guitars in the Classroom have selected your song “I Am A Pond” to be a finalist in our 2015 Hero Song Contest. Voting …