Dean Phelps combines the rhythmic beat of thumbpicking guitar with a soulful vocal style. Part blues and part old school country, Dean stirs that style into a repertoire of songs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries along with a few pages out of the hymnal, creating a style that is reminiscent of players like Merle Travis and Doc Watson.
Dean has earned both local and national recognition for his guitar playing, winning the National Thumbpicking Guitar Contest at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Ark., and being named thumbpick guitar champion at the Indiana Picking and Fiddling Championship.
It was a kind of grace note, undeserved.
He is Reverend Dean Phelps with no apologies, but even though he’s a Reverend, he’s not very churchy. He’s a regular guy with a fun repertoire, relaxed manner, nice picking, and a friendly way of putting a song across.
If you want to kick back, relax, enjoy toe tapping tunes, soul searching lyrics, gleeful melodies and that overall feeling of ‘Oh gosh, I think I am HAPPY right now!’…. then be sure to spend time with Dean Phelps.
Phelps … has fallen in love with some of America’s first authentic music — the folk and gospel from the late 1800s and early 1900s. The haunting melodies and hopeful lyrics seem to bring a positivity that appeals … to audiences as well.
The picking is of the highest quality, and as for Phelps’ vocals, no words of praise can depict how sublime they really are.
If you like your music wrapped around you like a comfortable sweater….that’s exactly what you’ll find here. It’s a rare treat.
Dean is one of the nicest, friendliest guys I know, and [he] plays like cool water on a warm summer day.
- Picking the Faith (2012): A collection of hymns and gospel songs in the thumbpicking Travis style.
- Give Us a Song (2008): An acoustic tribute to singer-songwriter roots.
- This Old House (2006): Exploring a variety of musical influences.
- Going Over Home (1997): Songs of faith, still available as a digital download.