Tinman Jones

Heaven'z Possee

Heavenz PosseeIt all started in the South Arkansas city of El Dorado. Keith Alexis served as youth pastor at a local church were Don Guthrie and Denton Ashcraft were part of this group. With encouragement from their youth pastor, Don and Denton formed a group called Heaven'z Possee. The duo began performing at youth events using DC Talk sound tracks to rap along with. God began to bless this ministry and open many doors. In 1995 Heaven'z Possee recorded a tape of all original songs in Keith's home studio. These songs were all written by Don, Denton and Keith.

In 1996 in was inevitable that the group was destined to move away from tracks and form a live band. Denton had a passion for drums and had been playing for several years in church and other opportunities. Keith's primary instrument was bass guitar, so the low end was covered. Enter Matt Helms from Summerfield, Louisiana. Matt was still in High School at the time, but quite a good guitarist. And was willing to do his part to make the band a success.

A couple of shows were lined up for August and later, but there was a problem. There was no singer. Someone had been lined up for vocals but quit before the first show. So Keith approached his brother, Bryan, about doing this one show in August. Bryan had some experience singing, but he already had his life plans on track. He was in college as a graphic design major. Bryan agreed to do just this one show. Hours of practice writing and learning original songs, as well as some covers like Flood (Jars of Clay), and In the Light (DC Talk / Charlie Peacock). The day of the first show arrived. The new incarnation of Heaven'z Possee took the rickity, make-shift stage and rocked the house. In retrospect, it probably wasn't that great of a show. But five guys never had so much fun.

After the show Bryan agreed to stay on through December to give HP plenty of time to find a suitable lead vocalist. Show after show lined up like crossties under a track directing a train bound for somewhere. In October, while playing a local festival, HP met a couple of men who had a studio in Louisiana. They wanted the band to come down and see what they could lay down. The guys went down for their first time in a "real" studio and recorded three demo songs: Hurricane, Certain Man, and What I Want for Christmas. And along side the old Heavenz Possee TAPE still selling at shows, even though they didn't do any of the songs on it (well maybe one), the new 3 song EP was sold, yep, on TAPE. Tapes they dubbed themselves, no doubt. Bryan announced to the band, "Let's just see what happens."

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