Dean Phelps and Patchwork at Metamora UMC

I've written before about how much I enjoy playing music with Rick and Holly Garrett, a.k.a. Patchwork, and about how much I enjoy playing music in the sanctuary of the Metamora United Methodist Church. It's the perfect storm of people and place, and not only do I have fun, but I'm also moved by the experience. I want to invite you to join Holly, Rick, and I at Metamora UMC on Saturday, August 5. The evening kicks off with a Cruise-In Car Show and community dinner starting at 5:00. Then Rick, Holly, and I will take the chancel of the church for a concert starting at 7:00....
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Indiana Fingerstyle Guitar Contest Schedule

The Indiana Fingerstyle Guitar Contest will be held July 28-30 in Nashville, Indiana. Top notch players from around the globe will be there. Here's a look at the schedule. Open Mic Party on Friday night, 6:00 - 11:00 p.m. at the Brown County Inn. Dean will play from 9:45 to 10:15. Competition on Saturday, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Brown County Playhouse. Concert on Saturday, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. at the Brown County Playhouse. Workshops on Sunday, 9:45 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Brown County Inn. More information is available at indianastringfest.com....
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Metamora Old Time Music Festival Schedule

Every Labor Day weekend in the Canal Town, a.k.a., Metamora, Indiana, some of the best acoustic and old-time musicians in the tri-state area gather for the Metamora Old Time Music Festival. This year, the festival features three stages of live music. The Making Music Area will have booths where luthiers and builders will demonstrate and display their craft. Musicians will be in the Making Music Area as well, offering demonstrations and workshops. New this year will be advanced workshops and master classes at Mosaic Learn & Play. Mosaic is owned by my friends and musical cohorts, Rick and Holly Garrett I consider it fortune to have been part of the festival in 2011 and 2012. It was hard to miss the festival last year as I was unable to make the trip from Oklahoma. This year, however, I will be back at the Old Time Music Festival, and I can't wait to get there! My schedule for the festival is shown below, but I'm...
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I Know the Feeling

I Know the Feeling

The sound of the glass hitting the floor echoed like a broken heart. In an instant, a beautiful piece of glass work became shards on the floor. It was just a momentary distraction, the slightest bump against the bench, and art became scrap. Debbie and I had stopped into the Bella Forte Glass Studio in Edmond after dinner to watch the glass blowers work. They are happy to have people watch, and they take the time to explain what they are doing and describe how the end result should look. This particular piece was to be a vase. We watched as the blower heated canes, small cylinders of colored glass each about the size of a pencil, fusing them together. The fused canes were carefully wrapped around a hub of glass, which was then blown into the center of the canes. More molten glass was applied, and the blower began shaping the piece. The canes created a swirl of orange and...
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Sacred in Every Song

Are you telling me I'm wasting my time here?That was my question to the manager of a local winery recently. They feature live entertainment in their tasting room on a regular basis, so I wanted to get my name and music in front of them and see if it might be possible to play there. I had just given him a card and was preparing to write the address where I could send a DVD of a live performance.My business cards contain this description of the music I perform: "An acoustic blend of folk, gospel and Americana." That prompted him to ask, "How much of what you do is gospel music?"He went on to tell me that he was really averse to having any mention of God or religion or Jesus as part of the musical performances in the tasting room. In his mind, that's what Sunday was for. "On Saturday," he said, "people are out to sin. They can...
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Hard to Beat the House Concert

Tonight it was once again my honor to join up with Eli Beth to play music. You can read in early posts how I met Eli by wandering into the open stage she hosted at Corner Coffee here in Indianapolis.Eli and I have always worked well together. Our musical tastes and styles complement one another. Quite frankly, she brings out the best in my playing, and tonight was no exception.We played all our favorites, some originals of Eli's including Dead End Road and Dance With Me, Gillian Welch's Orphan Girl, I Only Want to Be with You, and many more. But tonight it was the audience that made the evening.House concerts are a wonderful idea. We shared an evening of intimate music with 15 folks. We didn't use a sound system, opting for dessert and coffee or wine instead. We got to talk to everybody there and make some new friends along the way.If you get a chance to go...
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Haiti Relief: CD Baby Will Donate $1 from CD Sales

For three years now, it's been my pleasure to handle online sales of CDs and song downloads through CD Baby. They are great folks who have worked to help independent musicians.Now they're also working to help with relief efforts in Haiti. For the next two weeks, CD Baby will donate $1 from every CD sale through their web site to the American Red Cross and to Mercy Corps, a Portland-based (CD Baby is also based in Portland) relief agency. They will also donate $1 from every download sale over $8.99. (Read about it at cdbaby.com.)Of course, I'd love it if you purchase or download my recordings, but you might also discover some other great music, like Patchwork or Chris Wolf. This would also be a great time to get your copy of Give a Girl a Chance.You certainly don't have to shop to help. Please consider making a donation to relief efforts in Haiti through the Red Cross, Mercy Corps, or join me in supporting relief...
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Back to the Living Room

Last week was busy with a lot of time spent away from home. Two days were spent with my ministry colleagues and the officers for our region at a retreat center near Beanblossom, Indiana. We had a lot to talk about, and they were important conversations.A board meeting for our region two months earlier had not gone as expected, and more than a few would say it had not gone well. The result left all of us confused, and nobody knew what to say or to whom to say it.We could have attempted those conversations in a conference room, but we chose a living room setting instead. It may just be me, but I don't think we could have had a conversation as deep or as successful in the conference room. Something about the relaxed nature of the living room made those conversations possible.The same relaxed atmosphere makes music a different experience in the living room than it is in...
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