Dean Phelps

Dean Phelps

 Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

An acoustic blend of folk, gospel and Americana. The combination of acoustic fingerstyle guitar and family-friendly repertoire make Dean's music a good fit for festivals, churches, restaurants and coffeeshops.


Phelps' love of folk, gospel, and Americana music dates back to his childhood in Maysville, Ky. He started playing guitar at age 9. His father was a skilled carpenter and an engineer but also a self-taught musician. “If it had frets, he could play it,” Phelps says.

From that time when he first picked up a guitar and learned the shape of a G-chord, Dean Phelps has made music to bring enjoyment to anyone willing to listen. His folk style, positive demeanor and family-friendly repertoire make his music appropriate in a variety of venues, including churches, coffee shops and restaurants.

Influenced by a number of singer songwriters like John Prine, John Denver, Nanci Griffith and Kate Wolf, his music is an acoustic blend of folk, gospel and Americana. Dean sings songs that are both religious and secular and has made several original arrangements of traditional hymns and songs of the Christian faith.

The songs he sings tell stories about people, life and faith, and Phelps hopes that his music helps people see the sacred in everyday life. Although his repertoire is not composed exclusively of gospel music, Dean’s faith runs through each song.

At the University of Kentucky, he majored in music and directed church choirs before and during his time as a seminary student at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. Following seminary, Dean was ordained to Christian ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Doc Possom of Indy Folk News writes: "Dean is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He is Reverend Dean Phelps, with no apologies, but although he's a Reverend, he's not very churchy. He is a regular guy with a fun repertoire, a relaxed manner, nice picking, and a friendly way of putting a song across!"


Give Us a Song (2008)
This Old House (2006)
Going Over Home (1997)

Set List

Dean typically plays 60-90 minute sets without a break and has a repertoire sufficient for performances of 3-4 hours. A typical three-hour show would include the following mix of original songs, original arrangements of public domain music and cover songs.

Across the Great Divide
Ain't Misbehavin'
Ballad of Jed Clampett
Battle of New Orleans
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Farther Along
Feelin' Groovy (59th Street Bridge Song)
Five Pounds of Possum
George Gudger's Overalls
Give Us a Song
God Ain't No Stained Glass Window
Going Gone
Grandpa Was a Carpenter
Hold on to Your Faith
If You Come Up Empty
It'll Shine When It Shines
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Life's Railway to Heaven
Love Divine
Marching to Zion
My Dog Jesus
My Grandfather's Clock
Nashville Cats
Oh Sister
Precious Memories
Rocky Raccoon
Route 66
Sending Me Angels
Simple Gifts
Some of Shelley's Blues
Spanish Pipedream
Teach Your Children
Tennessee Stud
The Gospel/I'll Fly Awa