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Bio

Debra Guy - Vocals, Guitar

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” – Rudyard Kipling

Debra Guy is a singer, songwriter, and storyteller.

“I’m an over-sharer by nature,” says Guy.  “Our stories are our legacy.  I lost my father when I was eleven and my mother just a few years ago.  I’m telling my stories, but I’m also telling theirs.”  Guy’s solo acoustic record “Lucky Numbers” is just that – a collection of true stories put into lyrics, melodies, and expressed through her deft hands and captivating voice.  Her live performances trigger audiences to put down their drinks, step closer, and listen. 

Guy started playing music when she was just four years old.  From the piano, she moved to playing the guitar when she was eight and eventually discovered her songwriting and singing voice in high school in Chesapeake, Virginia.  She took her songs to college in Fairfax, Virginia, graduated with a degree in English (Poetry) in 2000, and formed the hard rock band, Honeychuck in 2002.  Honeychuck's success peaked in 2008 with their performance at the legendary 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, just months before Debra's relocation to Charlottesville, Virginia with her family.

In 2015, Guy formed Charlottesville's pop folk quartet, Help Me Helen. “I took a break from songwriting for a few years after my daughter was born in 2010.  But I love music and people, so it wasn’t surprising that once I started making music again, I found myself fostering new collaborative relationships with folks adding their talents to the mix.”

By folks, she means multi-instrumentalist and “lead bass guitar” player Drew Pompano, history teacher and drummer Zachary Bullock, and librarian-by-day, vocalist-by-night, Kelly Kroese. “Help Me Helen is a lot of fun,” says Guy, “despite the lyrical intensity of some of the songs, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and our main goal in playing together is to make good music and have a great time.”

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"Debra Guy sings with the rasp of Amy Ray and the sincerity of Brandi Carlile. The raw acoustic energy of her songs (delivered passionately with her snug band) wax nostalgic for that great female singer-songwriter surge of the late 80s, but still sit comfortably in the pocket of today's sounds."
~Michael Clem, Eddie From Ohio

"Debra Guy plays the guitar like it owes her money."
~T. Wesley, Producer

 

Drew Pompano - Bass

Drew Pompano moved around quite a bit as a kid, and didn’t live anywhere long enough to get the hang of fitting in. In many ways, he’s actually grateful. It helped Drew to develop strange tastes in music, to find more time to practice, and to have absolutely no sense of fashion. Before getting roughed up in jazz guitar and bass lessons, he studied classical cello as a young person. And though he was not (admittedly) a very good cellist, the emphasis on phrasing, ensemble musicianship, and sight-reading is probably the only reason he manages to stay in bands, even as an amplified guitarist/bassist. Luckily, he’s had the great fortune to befriend and gig with incredible musicians/crafters of song, like his bandmates in notable Chicago outfits Jenny Dragon and the Aldermaniacs… and most recently, Debra - whose brain gave rise to Help Me Helen.

The first two records Drew bought on his very own were Wes Montgomery’s Full House and Oasis’ What’s the Story Morning Glory? They clearly cancel each other out in terms of hipness, but Drew still loves both of them. When he’s not filling bass duties with Help Me Helen, Drew teaches guitar lessons to aspiring songwriters, hep cats, and rock stars- and is also known to gig out with his good friends in Charlottesville. He also tends to yell at his iPad whilst reading the political section of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Zachary Bullock - Drums

A multi-instrumentalist with a varied musical past, Bullock brings a rhythmic sound, specially crafted for Help Me Helen, deeply influenced by Mick Avory, Bill Kreutzmann, and Connie Kay.

Kelly Kroese - Vocals

Kelly Kroese is a 34 year old librarian Virgo from Buffalo, NY. Some might call her a "Millennial," but this is categorically untrue, as she doesn't use a smart phone. Kelly typically lends her voice to choirs and musicals, but has longed dreamed of singing back-up in a band. She is very grateful to Debra, Drew and Zach for the opportunity to live that dream; she's trying to be more Linda than Yoko.