renter-emmausRuss Rentler is a multi-talented musician, physician, and luthier - playing inspired pieces in a Celtic-folk style. Russ is passionate about acoustic music and plays a variety of instruments including: hammer and mountain dulcimer, fiddle, dobro, autoharp and bouzouki. He also started building his own hammer dulcimers and uses his own instruments on stage. Russ' latest CD is entitled Way to Emmaus and the title track is a beautiful retelling of what that meeting with Jesus must have been like.

The instrumentation is very rich on this CD. Being such a talented acoustic performer, the wide variety of instruments shines through on all the tracks. The title track shows some of Russ' tremendous arranging skills, but I think it's especially obvious on the track "Sing of Mary".

Russ' music is phenomenally peaceful - but the depth of his lyrics is not to be overlooked either. Russ is a true storyteller through his music - he cites artists such as Bob Dylan, John McCutcheon and Walt Michaels as major influences in his style. I think his storytelling ability is highlighted in the song Jewel of the Caribbean telling of the hopelessness and faith that wells up in a man during a missionary trip to the Caribbean.

Russ is such a tremendously talented person and humble as well. If you like folk or Celtic inspired music, if you like lots of acoustic music and if you like music that weaves a tale, you will like Russ Rentler. Check him out at

Reviewed by Rob Ayoub