We just gotta say “Happy Birthday” to one of our favorite guitarists and band leaders, Carlos Santana. He just turned sixty-one years old on July 20th.
I remember getting blown away by Santana’s performance at Woodstock with the extended jam of “Soul Sacrifice.” The bite of his guitar riffs on “Jingo” off the first album. The awesome opening of the Abraxas album with “Singing Winds, Crying Beasts,” with it’s haunting solos and crashing cymbals. Grooving with “Black Magic Woman” as it rocks into “Gypsy Queen,” then segues into “Oye Coma Va.”
Santana concerts are always a thrill, whether it’s an arena show like the Crossroads Guitar Festival, or at an outside amphitheater, Carlos and band never fail to entertain.
I’ve always been impressed with how Santana could interpret other’s songs like Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va” written by Tito Puente, and turn them into hit records.
At the turn of the century he rejuvenated his career by teaming up with other artists like Rob Thomas on “Smooth” and “The Calling” with Eric Clapton, for the Grammy Award winning album Supernatural. That’s great stuff, but nothing else quite does it for me like those early seventies hits that take me back to my days in San Antonio. Ahh…Santana and salsa!
It’s almost a mind-bending task to assess this man’s career, but let’s just pay tribute to the man, the band, and those legendary guitar licks that put Latin blues-rock on the music map of history.
¡Feliz cumpleaños Carlos! Viva Santana!
Monday, July 21st, 2008
Written by: Mike Withrow
Posted in Birthdays, Classic Rock