Lydia Pense & Cold Blood debuted when the Fillmore was at its peak as one of the nation's musical Meccas. Owner Bill Graham was so impressed with Lydia's voice and the sound of the band that he immediately signed Cold Blood to his new record label. During the span of six original late-60's, early-70's albums, Lydia Pense and Cold Blood helped, along with Tower Of Power, forge their own specific brand of funk/soul and R&B which came to be known as East Bay Grease. That music still holds up today, proving that great music is timeless and will continue to inspire generations to come.
Their initial four albums Cold Blood, Sisyphus, First Taste of Sin and Thriller remain their best known work.
A B O U T L Y D I A P E N S E A N D C O L D B L O O D
The word legend certainly applies to Lydia Pense and Cold Blood…and not in some past tense-make-a-living-as-an-oldies-act sort of way either. Pense can still shout like a 60's soul diva and purr a slow blues tune with spine-tingling subtlety.
Cold Blood, as a whole, features a stellar group of musicians who have been playing together for nearly 20 years including Steve Dunne on guitar, Steve Salinas on keyboards, a gritty-growling horn section comprised of Rich Armstrong and Rob Zuckerman along with a stellar rhythm section featuring Evan Palmerston on bass and Donny Baldwin on drums. The band members are all veteran Bay Area musicians who have played with many great artists including Elvin Bishop, Jefferson Starship, Boz Skaggs, Albert Collins and more.
Of course there is Lydia who still has the chops with the patina of a seasoned veteran who's done and seen it all. Together she and the band continue to twist together R&B, (both Old School and New School); into something that doesn't have a label... On any given night, Lydia Pense and Cold Blood power through their historic essentials, like "You Got Me Hummin'," "I Just Want To Make Love To You," "I'm A Good Woman," and "Down to the Bone."
In 2005 the band released “Transfusion” a whole new CD of future classics that draws on their heritage but is not stifled by the past. In September of 2011 the band has released “The River City Sessions”, a 5 song EP. Now able to draw from the first two new Cold Blood albums in three decades, Lydia and the band blast out a set that covers 40 years of thumping, throbbing, East Bay funk. Several of the tracks that make it on to the set list each night come from original Cold Blood alum Skip Mesquite. Another tune of particular note, "Face the Music," is written by guitar ace Steve Dunne. All this fresh music, laid down by a crisp, tight 6-piece, makes any Cold Blood show invigorating.
And, of course, anything Lydia sings is sung well.
She has a list of famous admirers that includes Bonnie Raitt, Michelle Shocked,David Lee Roth, even Janis Joplin back in the day.
Pick up your autographed copy of Lydia Pense and Cold Blood's latest CD at their next show
C O L D B L O O D N O W
COLD BLOOD'S PLAYERS
LYDIA PENSE- Vocals
Lydia joined Cold Blood in 1968. Janis Joplin recommended her band to Bill Graham who was so impressed that he signed them to his label. She has since performed all over the world with her band.
Steve is the lead guitar player/musical director for Cold Blood. He co produced Cold Blood’s 2006 CD , TRANSFUSION with former Tower Of Power sax man Skip Mesquite . Two of Steve’s compositions, FACE THE MUSIC and COMING BACK are also features . Steve also co produced Cold Blood’s 2008 release LIVE BLOOD with drummer Donny Baldwin .
Steve wrote the songs THE LITTLE THINGS and CLOSER TO YOU on Cold Blood’s new EP, THE RIVER CITY SESSIONS. He has been with the band since 1992, touring nationally and internationally.
Rich Armstrong is one of the busiest musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area, utilizing his skills as a multi-instrumentalist to maximize every musical adventure presented to him. He's been featured on countless albums, recordings, and tours with Boz Scaggs, Thomas Dolby, Cold Blood, Ledisi, blues star Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Michelle Shocked as highlights in his storied career. He has even performed with Bruce Springsteen and was showcased by “The Boss” in an impromptu solo on stage at the NYC guitar festival. In his spare time he runs a successful brass program he developed at his daughter's school, the Waldorf School of the Peninsula and teaches guitar and songwriting.
Evan has been a working bassist for the past 38 years. Raised in New York and San Francisco and currently based in SF’s “Northbay” he has toured & recorded with many of the industries top acts. From progressive fusion/ jazz/ rock of artists such as Merl Saunders, Buzzy Feiten & Randy Crawford to Blues staples, Luther Tucker, Ron Thompson & The Elvin Bishop Band. During his tenure with the band (10 yrs) he appeared on 5 CD’s including the California Music Award winning “That’s My Partner” which was honored as “Outstanding R & B Album 2001” by the Academy.
For the past 10 years he has held the bass chair with legendary eastbay Funkstress” Lydia Pense and Coldblood, touring extensively throughout the USA & Japan as well as appearing on the groups last two releases, “Transfusion” & “Live Blood”.