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Land of Hope and Dreams

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Image borrowed from the Hope Given Music Facebook page. Go give it a “like” if you haven’t already.

By Nikki Hedrick

 

The last few months have marked a time of transition for Hope Given, both professionally and personally. She has married and has musically struck out on her own, much to the surprise of fans of her old band Continuum.

 

First thing first, Hope Given is still the name you should look for to catch her performances. “I never thought I was going to change my name,” she says. “So I have this compromise where I am Hope Gamble on paper but Hope Given on stage. So, I get to have this performance alter ego, which I am really excited about. It’s kind of confusing, but at the same time, I feel that it makes sense.”

 

Given just wrapped up her first full month gigging solo, and she shares that the leap did include butterflies, “I was so scared that I was going to get into it and that it would be different than I expected, but it has been a smooth transition. I feel like this is where I have been leading up to all along. The thing that I was missing was the confidence to think that I could do this.

 

“From the solo standpoint, this is still square one, but I grew immensely in the three and a half years that I was in Continuum. I have the rest of my life to grow as a solo artist, and I’m just so excited to kind of learn about myself.”

 

Although most of us see Given on stage and see an outgoing ball of energy, it wasn’t always who she was. “I was such an awkward child, and I started playing guitar when I was six. Music has been the constant that I’ve had. No matter what I was doing, I always had my baby Taylor (guitar).”

 

As teenage years encroached, Given wouldn’t play guitar for friends or family. She was, however, singing every chance she had. But even that wasn’t all smooth sailing. “I’ll never forget, maybe an eighth grade talent show where I started, and I just stopped in the middle of the song. I walked off stage crying because I just couldn’t do it. It’s ridiculous to me how much I’ve changed.”

 

When it comes to parting with Continuum, Given clears the air amid swirling rumors. “I knew that people were pretty much going to make up their own ideas,” she says. “But it comes down to a lot of different factors. Stylistically, we were going different ways. And they want to tour full-time, and I want to stay here.”

 

She goes onto to say that she “had a blast, and I have nothing but love for Continuum.”

 

Given likes to classify her solo performances as “acoustic soul,” but she’s already experimenting with other instruments like keyboards to have a jazz element. “Every step of this is like me discovering myself more. It is constant growth.”

 

In addition to a growing catalog of original songs, Given aims to twist covers into something new. “I think Shannon Ireland (of 30a Songwriter Radio) said it was my arrangement, not my cover. I want to take a song that you hate and make you forget that you hated it at all, because you hear in a different way.”

 

With everything that Given has up her sleeve—or under her oft-worn floppy hat—she is planning on taking her time to embark on the recording process. “I will say I that I will have a full album by July of 2018. I want to give myself some time, and I’ve already got some people that I want to work with. I’m excited to get to play other instruments and have a lot of the album be me, where it isn’t just a guitar and a voice. I have a vision, I just have to make it onto an album.”

 

With regular gigs at KC’s Sandbar & Grill, County Line Pizza, and Acme Ice House, Given will be easy to find across Beachcomberland. Keep up with her adventures at facebook.com/HopeGivenMusic.

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