Dean Phelps’s 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, Deanâ€™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).
While serving as minister of church multiplication for the Disciples of Christ in Indiana, Phelps also takes his music to coffee shops, festivals and churches across the Midwest.
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!”