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Close your eyes and imagine Janis Joplin

The magic and artistry of Janis Joplin is coming to Auckland.

Lydia Pense has been likened to Joplin many times and the two dominated the stage in the late 1960s. Joplin admired the young Pense and recommended her and her band, Cold Blood, to legendary concert promoter, Bill Graham.

Graham also was impressed with her voice and the band’s sound and signed them both to his new record label, Fillmore Records.

With this backing and a captive San Francisco audience, Lydia Pense and Cold Blood forged their own special brand funk soul and rhythm and blues which came to be known as East Bay Grease. That music still holds up nearly 50 year later proving that great music is timeless and will continue to inspire generations to come.

New Zealand jazz icon, Rodger Fox, met Lydia at San Francisco last year and engaged her to make her first New Zealand tour in May and June this year. Her seven venue tour includes Auckland, Tauranga, Upper Hutt, Palmerston North, Napier, Dunedin and Wellington.

Lydia kicks off her national tour on Wednesday, May 30, at the Bruce Mason Theatre, Auckland.

“Lydia is a rock-soul-jazz singer whose distinctive style has been compared to Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin and Teena Marie,” Rodger Fox says.

American critics describe Pense as still able to “shout like a 60’s soul diva and purr a slow blues tune with spine-tingling subtlety. Lydia still has the chops with the patina of a seasoned veteran who’s done it and seen it all.”

Her own albums, Cold Blood, Sisyphus, First Taste Of Sin, Transfusion and Vintage Blood Live have all enhanced her own dynamic reputation.

Lydia is one of two top American artists who’ll headline the seven venue tour. The other is blues, jazz and rock guitarist and vocalist, Robben Ford who’s been named as one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century.”

Robben has made hundreds of concert appearances and recorded with Miles Davis, George Harrison, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Barbra Streisand, Charlie Musselwhite, KISS and Jimmy Witherspoon.

His own latest album Into The Sun, debuted at number two on The Blues Charts and “shines a bright light on his artful, contemporary songwriting and stunning playing.”

Lydia Pense and Robben Ford, together with the Rodger Fox Big Band, perform at the Bruce Mason Theatre on Wednesday, May 30 at 8pm. Bookings at


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