The Original Santana Band Reunited!

Boomer era rock band reunions have become pretty commonplace, but this is a particularly auspicious one.  The original group called Santana emerged from Los Angeles in 1969 and released only three records together before breaking up only a few years later. Their sound, so distinctive and Immediately identifiable, is so familiar today that it's easy to forget how unique and original it was at the time the group surfaced. I happened to be lucky enough to be at their East Coast debut at Woodstock for that glorious acid fueled set that was captured on film for the masses and catapulted them almost immediately into fame , and for many of us who were there, they were truly one of the highlights of that star-studded festival. When I caught them live again a couple years later, future Journey-man Neil Schon had joined the group as second guitarist, and the band had grown much tighter and more cohesive (and maybe less acid-ic?) This is essentially the group you'll hear on this release, streaming pre-release now on NPR's First Listen.

Things did not end well back in the day, and guitarist and bandleader Carlos Santana has insisted for 4 decades that he would never reunite with the other four core members again. While he, of course, has gone on to release many albums under the name he shares with his original band, it has taken this long for (to paraphrase Don Henley's words about reuniting another famous band from the 70s) hell to freeze over once again. And it's allowing us to hear this truly groundbreaking and highly influential musical force - including original and then teenage drummer (and longtime Seattle Bumberdrum leader) Mike Shrieve - show up with no less than 75 minutes of new material! And sounding like they turned around from "Santana III" and walked back into the studio again, so true fans of the sound and style of the music that pervaded those original albums should not be disappointed.