Lydia Pense And Cold Blood


“LYDIA PENSE -1970s - Celebrating 50 years with Cold Blood, Lydia Pense is one of San Francisco's great soul shouters who has never received her due. She was City born and bred until age 10 when she moved to the peninsula. Janis Joplin suggested that Pense audition with the band Cold Blood for promoter Bill Graham, and the band was one of his first signings to Fillmore Records (issued on the San Francisco label). Their initial eponymous album "Cold Blood," was hugely successful landing at #23 on Billboard magazine's album charts in December 1969. There were five more albums that gained national attention: "Sisyphus," (1971); "First Taste of Sin," (1972); "Thriller!" (1973); "Lydia," (1974), and "Lydia Pense & Cold Blood," (1976) In terms of live performances, Pense and Cold Blood opened for some big names including Canned Heat at Fillmore West in late 1968; Albert King at Fillmore West in February 1969; Iron Butterfly in July 1969; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at Winterland in November 1969, Lee Michaels at Winterland in April 1972, It's a Beautiful Day in February 1973, and Lee Michaels again in June 1973 among other gigs. Cold Blood broke up in the late 1970s and Pense took several years off to raise her daughter. She revived the band in 1988 and has been recording and touring ever since. I recall seeing Cold Blood at the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young show, at Winterland, where Pence and the band tore the sucker down. Why she wasn't more of a star is a mystery to me, because she possessed the chops and the swag to rock with the best of them. Is it possible that she got lost in the shadow of Janis Joplin whose meteoric rise swept away virtually everyone in her path in the late '60s? Whatever the case, Lydia Pense has a legion of fans out there ready to show her the love, and they have over a half century.”

Tim Henneberry/San Francisco Music