Dean Phelps combines the rhythmic beat of thumbpicking guitar with a soulful vocal style. Part blues and part old school country, Dean stirs his guitar and voice 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 performers 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.
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.
It was a kind of grace note, undeserved.
Dean is one of the nicest, friendliest guys I know, and [he] plays like cool water on a warm summer day.
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.
The picking is of the highest quality, and as for Phelps’ vocals, no words of praise can depict how sublime they really are.
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.
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.
Albums by Dean Phelps
- Mountain Roads (2016): A seven-song EP with Brian Keith Wallen.
- Picking the Faith (2012): 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.