Steven B. Eulberg,
Dulcimer-Friendly Worship, Vol. II
(Owl Mountain, 2000)

Dulcimer-Friendly Worship, Vol. II, subtitled "A Service of Evening Prayer, Hymntunes & Psalm Settings for Mountain & Hammered Dulcimers," is a companion CD for the tab book by the same name. There is also a 12-page congregational edition. These publications outline the "Service of Light" from the lighting of the candle to the benediction. The selections of this CD are played the first time with an ensemble of mountain dulcimers, hammered dulcimer, guitar, bass, percussion, tenor recorder and voices. They are repeated in order with only the dulcimers and vocals. So you get the full-length CD twice.

I actually preferred the second set with only the dulcimers and vocals. The dulcimers are much more prominent in these songs have such a relaxing effect. All the songs are serene and comforting. Eulberg is quite gifted with the dulcimer and does a wonderful job of bringing these hymns to life. It is easy to understand why he is an award-winner.

My favorite was the second rendition of "Lift Up Your Hands." It is the one that demonstrates the most ability with the dulcimer. But every song displays a high quality of music and great skill with the dulcimer. Eulberg has been gifted with a talent for dulcimer music.

Kaitlin Eulberg and Connie Winter-Eulberg on vocals join Steven Eulberg on dulcimer and vocals in this CD. Connie has one of the most beautiful voices to be found. Her range is impressive, with consistent tone control and volume across the octaves. She has a wonderful vibrato, ideal for gospel songs. She is definitely the strength of the vocals on this CD. She is fantastic! She recites a moving prayer during the prayer responses.

Selections included on this CD are: "Service of Light," "The Day You Gave Us (St. Clement)," "Abide With Me Psalm 141," "Incense," "I Lift Up My Eyes Psalm 121," "Come, Bless the Lord Psalm 134," "Our God Is Love" and "Prayer Responses."

The tab book and booklet state that they are recommended for "pastors and church musicians who seek to expand the congregation's experience of worship, recapture and enliven the cultural traditions of the congregation, so they can appreciate the new cultural gifts from other people in our midst; and those who seek to include other instruments and voices in the congregation's worship."

Steven Eulberg won second place in the National Dulcimer Contest in 1998 and was a finalist in the National Hammered Dulcimer Contest in 1999. He has several other albums to his credit.

I highly recommend this CD with the accompanying book and booklet to all pastors for the "Service of Light" and to the congregations because these are beautiful pieces that you can enjoy anywhere at anytime.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 8 March 2003