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July Artist Of The Month Penny Peach Tees Up For A Busy Summer

Back in May, we received two separate emails at Studio One, asking for more information about a song. Both times, the song in question was “Think More Deeply” by Penny Peach. I recently got a chance to tell Elly Hofmaier of Penny Peach about this, while we were talking over Zoom. Her reaction did not disappoint. Watch the video interview on this post and see for yourself.

Penny Peach CF
IPR/Tony Dehner
Elly Hofmaier, also known as Penny Peach, performs in IPR's Cedar Falls studios in March of 2020.

Based in Iowa City, Hofmaier is the vocalist, guitarist and songwriter behind Penny Peach. She also works full-time at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City, and is a member of the band Anthony Worden & The Illiterati. She’s also performed with the Iowa Women’s Jazz Orchestra, singer-songwriter Elizabeth Moen, and others.

Penny Peach has the somewhat unfortunate distinction of being one of the last live acts to perform on IPR, just a couple of weeks before a Friends Of KHKE/KUNI benefit concert that was scheduled to take place in Waterloo. Penny Peach was on the lineup for that show, along with Kevin Morby and Hand Habits.

After the pandemic caused almost everything to be canceled, Hofmaier felt a sense of relief at first, like many other people.

“Honestly, at the very beginning I was a little bit relieved, although we had started coming into some momentum,” said Hofmaier. “I was getting a little stressed out at the time, and I was having a hard time saying ‘no’ to things. I was relieved, but I had no idea what the implications would be. Then a year passed, and it was depressing.”

Photo Cred Alyssa Leicht (6).jpg
Alyssa Leicht
Penny Peach performs at a house concert in Iowa City.

Over the course of the pandemic, Hofmaier began hosting the “Best Show Ever” podcast, presented by the Englert. She also started working on her debut EP with fellow Iowa City musician Capel Howorth, whom she refers to as her “figurative band father,” and her “road/tour father/manager guy.” Recording was a new experience for Hofmaier.

“I’d never recorded anything before, and didn’t know what I wanted it to sound like,” said Hofmaier. “And then I became a perfectionist, and wanted to tweak all the little doodads. It took about a year to nail down those five songs.”

With live music returning, Hofmaier is once again very busy, booking shows with both of her bands and making plans to record some new songs. She’ll also be performing at Jazz Under The Stars with the Iowa Women’s Jazz Orchestra, and making plans for a busy season at the Englert. Despite all of this, Hofmaier has made a promise to herself.

“My plans are to keep my sanity, not overbook myself, and save some Elly Time.”

Penny Peach is the Artist of the Month for July, in collaboration with the Des Moines Music Coalition and Good Morning Iowa. The “brain gamez” EP is available at Spotify and Bandcamp.