Part blues and part old school country, seasoned with a pinch of gospel, Kentucky-born guitarist Dean Phelps combines the rhythmic beat of thumbpick guitar with a soulful vocal style. He blends his guitar and voice into a wide repertoire, creating a sound that is reminiscent of performers like Merle Travis and Doc Watson with a hint of Leon Redbone.
The result is music to make you smile, darn ya, smile. Or, in the words of one testimonial, “If you want that overall feeling of ‘Oh gosh, I think I am happy right now,’ be sure to spend time with Dean Phelps.”
What to Expect
As a solo acoustic guitarist and vocalist, Dean Phelps provides musical entertainment that is appropriate for a variety of settings. He plays a family friendly repertoire in an entertaining and engaging style. He is equally at home playing in cafes, restaurants, concert venues, churches, private parties, and business gatherings. He astutely recognizes what is required and tailors his performance to fit the setting.
Sample Set Lists
Dean’s set lists merge his love for “songs that are older than him” with the music of the artists and singer-songwriters that have influenced his musical journey.
- Engine House Pizzeria, August 2022
- Talon Winery, Shelbyville, July 2022
- Talon Winery, Lexington, July 2022
- Columbia Street Music District, June 2022
Live Stream Dean Phelps Smile Darn Ya SmileDean 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.
Ain't Misbehavin' Dean Phelps at Ziggie'sDean performs the Fats Waller tune (which is older than him) at Ziggie's Live Music in Denver, Colorado.
Walking StickDean Phelps performs the Irving Berlin tune, Walking Stick, at The Cat and the Fiddle Event Center in Metamora, Indiana.
It was a kind of grace note, undeserved.
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.
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.
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.
Dean is one of the nicest, friendliest guys I know, and [he] plays like cool water on a warm summer day.
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.
The picking is of the highest quality, and as for Phelps’ vocals, no words of praise can depict how sublime they really are.
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