During its show at The Space this Saturday, Ames band Pennyhawk will release the first copies of its new EP “Another Layer.” Originally a duo, the band’s lineup has changed drastically since the release of its first and only album. In the past year, it has acquired four new members to form a full band.
Kate Kennedy remains Pennyhawk’s guitarist and lead vocalist, as well as an active member of the local bands Mumford’s and Christopher the Conquered. Nate Logsdon, owner of the Ames Progressive and frontman for Mumford’s, now plays trumpet for the band. Filling out the new lineup are Laura Logsdon on clarinet, Holly Figueroa on keyboard and Leslie Hall on drums.
Kennedy said the quintet has been playing together for most of the past year.
Most Pennyhawk members are veterans of the Ames music scene, but Hall is an exception. Though she is an Ames native, she originally found fame in Boston.
Though Hall had never played drums before joining Pennyhawk, Kennedy said she mastered them quickly.
“She got good at drums really fast. She’s got the beats in her,” Kennedy said.
Three of the four songs on “Another Layer” appeared on earlier Pennyhawk releases. Unlike the original versions of the songs, these were recorded with a full band for the EP.
Kennedy said that, although “Another Layer” consists mostly of material she wrote herself, future work will be more collaborative.
“You could call it folk, but we also have some jazz and gypsy influences, too. It’s really interesting,” Kennedy said.
Pennyhawk plans to bring its music to several cities in Iowa in the coming months. The band is set to play shows at the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, The Mill in Iowa City and the 80/35 music festival.
Kennedy said she is particularly excited for the show at The Space because it will feature surprise guests on stage, and the opening acts are “very entertaining.” The show will begin with a solo set by the banjo player Smoke Hound. The band Unwavery will follow him, using homemade puppets to tell the story of aliens living in Boone.
Pennyhawk will take the stage last. Its new EP will be available for purchase throughout the show.
Kennedy folded paper for the the CDs’ packaging herself and created a stencil for the cover design. She and her bandmates are satisfied with the work they’ve done together. They hope the audience at Saturday’s show will be just as satisfied.
“It’s just a lot more fun to play with a beat – and more engaging for the audience, too,” Kennedy said. “We just try to make every show better than the last one.”
Pennyhawk EP Release Show
When: 8:00 p.m. Saturday, May 14
Where: The Space (formerly the Ames Progressive) at 118 Hayward Ave., Suite 3