Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Olivia Kay Skinner

We went out to catch Olivia Skinner last Saturday night at Beanzie's Gourmet Coffee. Olivia and I met online after she found my MySpace profile and asked me about getting some guitar pointers. I was happy to oblige. You can visit her web site at http://www.oliviakay.org/ to learn more.

Olivia is a fourteen year old singer-songwriter from Indianapolis, but she writes with a maturity that denies her years. A couple of the originals that she performed last night, "Save Me" and "You're Free", demonstrate just how much potential she has as a lyricist. She comes by her writing gift honestly, also performing songs that her father had written. I was especially taken by "Drive South".

Her performance needs polish, but that's to be expected given the short amount of time Olivia has been performing. I have no doubt that, with some coaching, she will grow into the role of singer, guitarist and performer as well as songwriter.

Some of the songs selected could also benefit from a little percussion to propel the songs along--a shaker or tambourine could go a long way here--and really draw the audience into the beat.

Olivia is accompanied by Indy guitarist and singer Joel Nowacki. Joel was performing as we arrived, and he included some excellent selections such as Bon Jovi's "It's My Life," which worked quite nicely as an acoustic number. Joel has a good musical instinct and does quite well both as a solo performer and in a supporting role.

I'm really anxious to see what good things lie ahead for this young talent.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A funny thing happened on the way to Amazon

I've released two CDs: Going Over Home in 1997 and This Old House in 2006. This Old House is the only one of the two available for sale through Amazon.com. At least that's what I thought.

I forget exactly what I doing, but I needed to double check the address of the Amazon.com page for This Old House. The address contains a product code that does not lend itself well to memorization. (Found out it was http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000M9CDSQ.)

It made sense that the best way to come up with the address was to go to Amazon's site and search for myself. (We Baby Boomers are always searching for ourselves, aren't we?) Search 'Music' for 'Dean Phelps'. Ah, the convenience of the 21st century.

I found This Old House, but the search also turned up Going Over Home for sale at Amazon.com! But that wasn't the stunning part. What arrested my attention was the line that said "1 new & used from $39.99." 39.99!? Somebody is selling that CD for forty freakin' dollars! My work is appreciating, and I'm not even dead.

I truly hope it sells, but not to somebody kind enough to read my ramblings on the blog.

Folks, you don't have to shell out forty bucks for the CD. It's not out of print yet, although it's close. My guess is that I'll sell the last copies of it that I'm going to sell sometime this year. You can find Going Over Home in CD Baby's bargain bin for 5 dollars. (It's in the Country / Americana section.) Buy it there. I'll appreciate that you bought my music, and you'll save $35.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Great Night at Boulevard Place Cafe

The room was packed, and the iced tea was flowing freely. Bob was cooking up his usual tasty fare in the kitchen, and Dace was providing excellent service. That was the setting at Boulevard Place Cafe last night, so Rick, Holly and I tried to do our part. We rared back and let fly with the best acoustic, folk and gospel music we could muster.

Rick and Holly are the Indianapolis folk duo Patchwork, and it was my honor to share the stage with them at Boulevard Place. The evening had been set up through Robin Coleman and Segment of Society Promotions, and what a fun evening it was!

We played it "in the round", sharing songs back and forth, occasionally jumping in with a harmony part or a fiddle or lead lick. The energy in the room was great, and when it came time to stop, I could have played on for another hour.

Many thanks to Robin for setting the evening up, and to Patchwork for allowing me the opporunity to be part of such a delightful evening. On March 8, it will be my pleasure to appear with Patchwork again, as well as with Cliff Snyder, for the Westside Club Benefit Concert. See the calendar on my web site for more information on this March 8 show.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Review from The Bean Cup

The review below came from Carolyn Doyle and appeared on the Indy Folk News discussion group.


Rev. Dean packs 'em in by Carolyn Doyle

Very nice performance by the relaxed and accomplished Rev. Dean Phelps on Friday night at The Bean Cup (on the north side of County Line Road, across from Greenwood Park Mall). I was impressed by the number of cars parked outside, and at first wondered if the adjacent Arthur Murray Dance Studio was having a hoedown. But no, they were all there for Dean ... it was so crowded, I had to take my chicken salad to the one available table, which was front and center.

Dean played one of the most varied song lists I've heard in awhile ... everything from "My Grandfather's Clock" to the Beatles' "Rocky Raccoon" to Jim Croce's "Roller Derby Queen" to my favorite of the amazing C.J. Watson's vast repertoire, "My Dog Jesus."

Dave had to work, but I hope we can both be there nexttime, Dean.

And I noticed that the Eastside's own Sean Hannigan will be playing at The Bean Cup at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, we plan to be there for that one!

-- Carolyn