A songwriter's retelling of the beloved book "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams

(The Rabbit Project)
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Hoping for Real

Songs inspired by the beloved book, "The Velveteen Rabbit", by Margery Williams, Hoping for Real is a debut song gallery written and performed by Hope Newman Kemp and a gang of her super talented friends. The recording is produced by Ben Hardesty (The Last Bison). Hope and the band are showcasing on August 16-17, 7:30 pm, Studio 1 Burlington, NC.  Click Tickets for info!


Enjoy a free preview of Hoping For Real HERE

About Hoping For Real

Hoping For Real: A songwriter's retelling of the beloved book "The Velveteen Rabbit" By Margery Williams


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The question of my sage season;  how to take a long preserved passion and move from homeschool mom to songwriter? I'm an old dogs, and these things are new tricks.  And, I'm a slow learner.

My daughter-in-law (herself a songwriter) suggested recording a "Song Series", and the idea breathed instant life into a starving creativity.  Turns out a Song Series is just what it sounds like:  a series of songs that work together to explore a story. The story is the important thing, so I searched for a story rich in nuance and profoundery but untethered from on-the-nose plots or dialogue. In what has become its own story, "The Velveteen Rabbit" showed itself one day.

The songs began writing themselves with almost frightening fervor.  I believed recording them required a producer with a sensitive ear.  Benjamin Hardesty (songwriter and front man for "The Last Bison") was my first choice, and to my astonishment he agreed to the work with equal enthusiasm. 

1 year to the day that we started, Hoping for Real was born. 

If you grew up with the book you most likely have fallen in love with it; so many have told me how important this whimsical little story is in the history of their childhood. For your sake, I hope you see how tenderly we've tried to treat your love.  If you haven't, I hope you fall for it as I have.  May we all be found and transformed by Love!


Vocals, Piano, Juno, Organ:  Hope Kemp

Percussion:  Benjamin Hardesty

Cello:  Amos Housworth

Violin:  Matt Davidson

Guitar:  David Kemp

Double Bass:  John Fraser


Hoping for Real Album Production Credits

Recording Produced by Ben C. Hardesty of "The Last Bison" for Hope Kemp Music

All songs written and copyrighted by Hope Newman Kemp, 2018

Instrumentals recorded at Music Mania, Burlington NC; 

Tracking Engineer: Jeremy Thomas

All piano tracks recorded at Dark Pines Studio, Graham NC

Tracking Engineer:  Jacob Danieley

Assistant Engineers:  Seth Peguini, Tyler Howard

Vocal tracks recorded at COLLECTORNorfolk, Norfolk Va

Tracking Engineer:  Hayden Heard

Mixed at Sick Island Studios, Nashville TN; Ryan Swinehart

Mastered at Bluefield Mastering, Raleigh NC; Jeff Carroll





The Rabbit Artwork

The Artwork for Rabbit was commissioned by local artist Barbora Mickle, owner of The Bohemian Phoenix

You can check out her work HERE



CD Release Theatrical Concert Information

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Studio One, Holly Hill Mall in Burlington
August 16th, 17th ONLY
Doors open at 7:00pm
Show begins at 7:30pm
Seating is Limited!

What's Next for Hope Kemp Music?

As an indépendant artist, I must have patience and wait for circumstances to help me move forward with future projects.  But I thought I'd let you in on what I hope to be presenting next: 

  • "A Swan's Song: beauty for the longing heart" is already in the works! Inspired from the story of an ugly little duckling who finds his true nature among the beautiful swans.  This project will be an EP and recording begins soon!
  • "Stories and Steeples: a collection of songs for the journey" will be a full length roots soul project using borrowed words from poets with stronger minds than mine.  I hope to begin preproduction on this project very soon, and am very excited about sharing these stories!