Kate Twoey of the band Pure Cane Sugar said she wanted to try something new –– an all-female band.
The local three-woman Americana band is set to perform tonight at The State Theatre’s venue, The Attic, 130 W. College Ave.
Originally set for only one show at 8 p.m., a second show has been added at 10:15 p.m. after tickets sold out rapidly in the first five days of being on sale.
The band’s leading ladies are Molly Countermine, Kate Twoey and Natalie Race. The band has spent many years playing in the area, Twoey said.
Pure Cane Sugar has been together for six years, and each of the women started out playing separately, Twoey, a singer in the band, said. After seeing the others perform, Twoey said she decided she wanted a new project and to sing with all women for the first time.
When they started performing, Twoey said they worked well together.
“It was so effortless for us to sing together. Everything fit perfectly,” she said.
Along with an Americana feel, Pure Cane Sugar sometimes features percussion and a fiddle, said Twoey. With the extra musicians, Pure Cane Sugar’s performances have more energy and are “more intense,” she said.
Twoey said that Pure Cane Sugar’s performance on Friday, however, will not feature extra instruments. Without percussion or fiddle, Twoey said the girls have more of a “folky” sound.
“[We] focus more on the harmonies,” she said.
Robert Gardner, associate professor of music education at Penn State, saw Pure Cane Sugar many years ago and since has seen them on other projects, he said.
Gardner said that singing harmonies can be challenging, but Pure Cane Sugar can pull it off.
“[Harmonies are] very important to the style music they are performing,” he said.
Cathy Brown, The State Theatre’s marketing manager and membership director , also said that the women form “great harmonies.”
“They’re absolutely incredible. They can take well-known songs [and] they can infuse their own sound,” Brown said.
On Friday nights’ shows, Twoey said Pure Cane Sugar will perform the soundtrack “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” including renditions of the songs “You Are My Sunshine” and “Down in the River to Pray.”
The Attic, located in the upstairs of The State Theatre, is a space that the theater can “do just about anything with,” Brown said.
Twoey said she wants to create an “informal” performance Friday night because The Attic is a smaller, “intimate space.”
Pure Cane Sugar is set to perform a series of shows at The State Theatre over the next year, Twoey said. They plan to perform an album per show from artists, such as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, she said.
“[We] want to do something special for these shows,” said Twoey.