An amazing sounding album which combines great harmonies with fantastic songs that at times are played with just an acoustic guitar; all of which is to Phelps’ advantage and certainly a joy to hear. (Russell Hill, Maverick Magazine, March 2009)
My Dog Jesus was one of the forces that motivated me to record Give Us a Song. After adding the song to my repertoire, people at shows would always want to know, “Which CD has the song about the dog on it?” I had to make a CD that I could hold up and say, “This one!”
Give Us a Song gets back to my acoustic singer-songwriter roots with covers of songs by Paul Simon, Jonathan Edwards, Kate Wolf and Bob Dylan. Of course, My Dog Jesus is a highlight of the recording, and the CD includes the original tune, If You Come Up Empty.
Being as much a refinisher of old songs as a creator of new music, Give Us a Song includes a few new arrangements of traditional hymns and gospel music. Thumb-style guitar creates a toe-tapping accompaniment for Precious Memories, and the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts uses the combination of finger-style guitar and vocal instrumentation to craft an ending to the recording that I’m especially pleased with.
- The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)
- Ain’t Misbehavin’
- Precious Memories
- If You Come Up Empty
- The Hobo Song
- My Dog Jesus
- Oh Sister
- Give Us a Song
- Marching to Zion
- Across the Great Divide
- Simple Gifts