The band first came to prominence in 1969 when rock impresario Bill Graham signed them after an audition and they played the Fillmore West in San Francisco. Pense has been compared to Janis Joplin, and it was Joplin who recommended the audition to Graham.
The band has often been compared to another long-standing popular Northern California group, Tower of Power, and like Tower of Power they were rare in that they featured a horn section in addition to guitar, keyboards (usually featuring a Hammond organ and Leslie speaker), bass and drums. The Tower of Power horn players have performed with Cold Blood on a regular basis since the early 1970s. Skip Mesquite and Mic Gillette have been members of both Tower Of Power and Cold Blood. Their fan base also overlaps with the Sons of Champlin, although their musical styles are quite different.
Their initial four albums, Cold Blood (produced by David Rubinson), Sisyphus (produced by Fred Catero), First Taste of Sin (produced by Donny Hathaway), and Thriller (produced by David Rubinson) remain their best known work. The band disbanded in the late 1970s, reformed in the 1980s and stabilized with its current membership in the 1990s. Cold Blood continues to record and perform today, and some former band members such as Raul Matute (and some from Tower of Power) appear on the band's most recent album.
Original band members were founder Larry Field (lead guitar), Lydia Pense (vocals), Danny Hull (tenor saxophone and songwriter), Larry Jonutz (trumpet; born Mar 15 1947), Pat O'Hara (trombone; born May 25, 1946 (?), died August 1977 of an overdose), Raul Matute (Hammond organ, piano, arranger and songwriter, born Feb 19 1946), Jerry Jonutz (baritone, alto and tenor saxophone; born Mar 15 1947), David Padron (trumpet; born May 4 1946), Rod Ellicott (bass), Paul C Saenz (guitar), and Frank Davis, who was replaced on drums by Sandy McKee (real name Cecil James Stoltie, born 12 July 1945, died 15 October 1995) during the Sisyphus sessions. Narada Michael Walden and Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffett both mention McKee on their short list of drummers most influential in their stylistic development.
Current personnel are Lydia Pense (vocals), Steve Salinas (keyboards), Steve Dunne (guitar), Mike Morgan (percussion), Evan Palmerston (bass), Rich Armstrong (trumpet, percussion), Rob Zuckerman (alto, tenor, baritone saxes) and Donny Baldwin (drums).
Cold Blood is featured playing live in Fillmore, a documentary of the last concerts at the Fillmore West auditorium during July 1971.
Lydia Pense & Cold Blood Jazzbones Tacoma, WA September 14th 2008 SBD/AUD it's a good one from one of the Bay area's finest singer and band. Track titles are here but they may be incomplete and anyone wishing to help it will be appreciated.
Just Wanna Make Love To You
No Way Home
I'm A Good Woman
Guide Me Home
Face the Music
Can't Take It [Don't Give a Damn]
My Lady Woman
Back Here Again
Funky On My Back
Wait for You
It Takes A Lot of Good Lovin'
You Got Me Hummin'