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Lez Zeppelin: More than just a punny name

New York-based rockers Lez Zeppelin, performing Aug. 26 at Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse, may prompt a smile at the mere sight of the name, but the all-female band’s irreverence should not obscure their sincere execution of the music of Led Zeppelin.

Led by guitarist Steph Paynes (on ’50s-era Les Paul and Telecaster guitars) and vocalist Shannon Conley, these are serious students of the iconic British rock band. Their 2007 debut album, “Lez Zeppelin,” was produced by Eddie Kramer, the renowned recording engineer on such Led Zeppelin albums as “Led Zeppelin II,” “Physical Graffiti” and “The Song Remains the Same.” Their Facebook page features a picture of the band with guitar legend Jimmy Page.

Spin magazine once saluted them as “the most powerful all-female band in rock history” and, in live performances, they nail both the obvious music, including “Stairway to Heaven,” “Rock and Roll” and “Kashmir,” but also delicate fare such as “Going to California,” “Battle of Evermore” and “Over the Hills and Far Away.”

But, yes, it’s hard to get past that cheeky name. When Lez Zeppelin was announced as part of the 2008 Bonnaroo lineup, rock fans around the world, assuming the announcement included a typo, went into temporary hysterics over the idea Led Zeppelin would be reuniting.

Lez Zeppelin, of course, is not alone in the pack of all-female tribute bands that wield rock guitars and punny wordplay with equal skill. Other acts include AC/DShe, Misstallica, Vag Halen, PRISS, Judas Priestess, Motley Cruella, Lynda Skynyrd, Gertrude Rammstein, Alice B. Toklas in Chains and Pearl Jam Bailey.

OK, half of those 10 names I made up. The lame ones. (The last five.) It’s fun, but surely you can do better. Let’s see what you’ve got.

Lez Zeppelin performs 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $35. Call 954-462-0222 or go to ParkerPlayhouse.com.

bcrandell@sun-sentinel.com

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