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    “Butch Phelps’s music is so personal, honest, invigorating and incredibly fun to dance to.  It is pure art and enjoyment,” says Emmy and Tony Award nominated writer, director, and actor, Arian Moayed. 

    A native New Yorker, Butch spent years in Portland, Oregon soaking in the freewheeling, psychedelic folk music and western country style he found there. Butch was enthralled and inspired by musicians such as Michael Hurley, the Holy Modal Rounders and the Freak Mountain Ramblers. Upon returning to NYC, these influences blended with an East Village edge and Greenwich Village folk sensibility.   At times swampy, soulful, and psychedelic, Butch has established himself as one of NYC’s most engaging and enduring bandleader/singer-songwriters. 

   Butch and his band, the Elevaters, have played music festivals across the northeast and can be seen frequently at venues such as Brooklyn's iconic country bar, Skinny Dennis, NYC's premier music discovery rooms, Rockwood Music Hall, and on Greenwich Village's famed Bleeker Street at both The Red Lion and The Bitter End.  Click here for the LIVE CALENDAR


    The Elevaters band includes contributions from Grammy Award winning musicians such as Steve Williams (Digable Planets) and Skip Ward (Phoebe Snow), as well as performances by Charlie Giordano (Bruce Springsteen), Kevin Batchelor (Keith Richards), Brett Bass (Gregg Allman) among others.  

    In 2018, Butch released the album Elevaters. Named for his band who Elevates every performance, the album features Butch's genre blended, diverse and heartfelt songs. 


    Acclaimed singer-songwriter Casey Neill describes Elevaters,  “#@!*ing hell, this is good.  Overflowing with soul, impeccable songwriting by Phelps.  Kevin Batchelor’s trumpet serves to lift rave-ups like ‘Big Easy’ into the stratosphere.  ‘Pass This Way’ is the kind of song that other songwriters wish they’d written.”

*Watch Butch's solo acoustic performances and interview discussing Elevaters, music and life on Alive with Clive


*Listen to Butch discuss Elevaters and his formative music days on the Sound Heights Records podcast  

    In 2020 Butch released the album The Man in Red. Containing Butch's original Christmas songs, the music was produced by Grammy nominee Daniel Kluger.  The songs were subsequently written into a Radio Play by actor, writer and producer Arian Moayed (HBO's Succession).  The Radio Play uses Butch's songs as it's soundtrack, and features performances by Brian Cox (HBO's Succession) as Santa Clause, Javier Munoz (Broadway's Hamilton), and Phylicia Rashad.

*Listen to the Playing On Air interview with Butch, Arian, Javier Munoz and Lily Sanitago.

    2016 saw the release of Butch's solo EP, Heavy Pour.  This intimate, stripped down collection of Butch's songs was recorded in a Bushwick, Brooklyn living room by singer/songwriter/producer Luba Dvorak.

    In 2004 Butch co-founded the NYC roots rock band the New Heathens, where he was produced by famed country rock guitarist/producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Steve Earle, Bottle Rockets). The band released two albums between '05 and '07, touring up and down the east coast and into the midwest. 

    Butch later created the band the Buck Ups in 2009 with legendary bassist Keith Christopher (of The Georgia Satellites, Lynyrd Skynyrd), releasing the self produced album, Butch Phelps and the Buck Ups.  The Buck Ups were main-stays in NYC roots clubs like the National Underground, The Lakeside Lounge, and Rodeo Bar.

    As a music educator for more than 15 years, Butch released Play Sounds, in 2014.  The album of original music for kids was released under the name Mr. Butch, and was produced by Grammy Award winner Andy Chase (Ivy).


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Points of Interest

  • Butch and the Elevaters, in 2018, were featured performers in Season 1 of the web series, The Accidental Wolf, performing Butch’s song, "Big Easy".  The show is streaming on, a subsidiary of First Look Media.


  • Butch’s song "Life So Strange", was featured in Season 2 of The Accidental Wolf.  The show is streaming on, a subsidiary of First Look Media.

  • Butch’s song “Sunday Morning”, in 2018, was used on


  • Listen to the 2021 Playing On Air interview with Butch, Arian, Javier Munoz and Lily Sanitago.

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