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Out of the Whirlwind

On October 4, Ruth Adams, the best mother-in-law in the world, passed away at age 90 after a brief illness. When she fell ill, I cancelled two shows at Muddy Boots Cafe, and the weeks that followed seemed like a whirlwind. During that time, I was privileged to do the most sacred guitar playing of my life, playing and singing at her bedside.

The Gennett Mansion, Richmond, Ind.

Following her funeral in Tulsa, Okla., though, Debbie and I began to emerge from the whirlwind. I landed in the Gennett Mansion in Richmond, Ind., for a show on October 13.

The mansion was the home of Henry Gennett, founder of the Starr Piano Company in Richmond, and, at the urging of his son, Gennett Records. It’s appropriate, given that family history, that the Gennett now features one of the best listening rooms in Indiana and that it welcomes some of the Hoosier State’s finest musicians to perform there.

The listening room at the Gennett Mansion is a fabulously intimate setting, where performer and artist can work together to make the show. The acoustics are top-notch. It would be a great room for live recordings.

To make the evening even more special, Patchwork was there, and Brian Keith Wallen turned up as well. It was a night to remember as Brian joined me for a few numbers, and Holly Smith joined me for a few more. The evening wrapped up with Holly, Brian and I joining in together.

I’m looking forward to being back at the Gennett with Patchwork on December 1 for the Patchwork-Dean Phelps Christmas Experience. You won’t want to miss that! We’re looking for a couple more venues where we can play this Christmas show, so any ideas are welcome.