Hopefully Forgiven Seeks Funds for Debut EP

Hopefully Forgiven plays live
Hopefully Forgiven plays live, Photo: Fernando Menechelli

The South Fork’s favorite local band, Hopefully Forgiven, recently launched a campaign to fund their first professional EP, and they’re asking fans to contribute through crowd-funding website GoFundMe.com.

Started by Hopefully Forgiven guitarist and singer Brad Penuel—who co-leads the band with fellow singer/guitarist Telly Karoussos—the campaign is seeking $40,000 to record and produce an EP with  five to eight songs, though Penuel says the band has enough songs for a full album, if they get enough backing to produce it.

“We’re constantly writing new material,” Penuel says, explaining that Hopefully Forgiven is about fun and good times, but they work incredibly hard at their music and take their performances quite seriously.

Perhaps it’s this combination that helped earn Hopefully Forgiven the Dan’s Best of the Best Platinum award for Best Local Band in 2014.

“The Dan’s Papers thing was a huge vote of confidence,” Penuel says, describing the last two years as fairly blessed for the band. “We’ve been really fortunate,” the singer continues, noting that Hopefully Forgiven was incredibly busy playing shows all over Long Island this summer, and is still packing each weekend with performances.

Penuel, who came to New York City and eventually Sag Harbor, from Alabama, met Karoussos five years ago. The pair began singing harmonies together and, two years ago, decided to make it official and start a band.

With bassist Benjamin Goodale and drummer Bryan Beyer, who just left the band after moving to Ohio, Hopefully Forgiven earned a reputation for high-energy shows full of good vibes. Their fan base grew quickly, and they even recorded a few demo songs during a live performance, but they have yet to make a fully produced record.

Now, Penuel says Hopefully Forgiven is poised to do something great. Not only are they making excellent music and working well together, the band has also attracted attention from some real heavy hitters in their business.

Among them, Grammy-nominated producer/songwriter Larry Dvoskin (The Beach Boys, Robert Plant, Sammy Hagar, Sean Lennon, Bad Company and others) believes in Hopefully Forgiven enough to produce their EP, and Billy Joel’s drummer Chuck Burgi has agreed to play on the record in Beyer’s stead.

With the opportunity to work with such top-shelf talent, Penuel says the band wants to make a “big push” in the coming months.

Backers of their campaign will be rewarded with various incentives based upon the amount of each donation. A $20 donation, for example, will buy a copy of the CD, while more generous donors can get anything from personalized songs, Hopefully Forgiven merchandise, show tickets and music career consultation from Dvoskin, up to a private show at a donor’s home.

“Imagine helping create Music from Big Pink, or Ten or Grace,” Penuel writes in the campaign, referencing some of his favorite records. “Imagine helping Bruce [Springsteen] get Greetings from Asbury Park off the ground. Imagine creating rock history—and getting a free hat!”

Hopefully Forgiven is playing three live shows this Saturday, September 26. First at the Sag Harbor American Music Festival at 1 p.m., followed by a Southampton SeptemberFest show in Agawam Park at 5 p.m. and then at Zum Schneider in Montauk at 9 p.m. Visit hopefullyforgiven.com for details and to hear the band’s songs.

To help Hopefully Forgiven create their debut EP, visit gofundme.com/hopefullyforgiven.

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