Jimi Hendrix. Eric Clapton. Stevie Ray Vaughan. Ernie Isley. Jeff Beck. A partial, but by no means definitive list of guitar greats. But you can’t have a list without mentioning Carlos Santana. At least in this one person’s opinion.
I’m not talking the Santana that Clive Davis had making pop albums with guest vocalists like Rob Thomas, Michelle Branch and the like. Not the Santana of “Smooth” or “Maria Maria”, or even “The Game Of Love.” I like those songs.
But I’m talking the guy who exploded out of the Bay Area with the great performance at Woodstock doing “Soul Sacrifice,” and the leader of the band that debuted with three classic albums: Santana, Abraxas, and Santana III.
The morning groove for today is actually a cover of a song originally done by Fleetwood Mac in the late 60s. (No, not the Stevie Nicks-Lindsey Buckingham version of the band). Gregg Rolie’s lead vocal and Santana’s guitar leads, plus the Latin rock mix of this version reached the pop top 5, and effectively stamped itself as the definitive version of the song. Or at the very least, it is the one that everybody remembers.
For me, though, it’s the Gypsy Queen part that thrills. I wish it would go on longer. Hearing Santana cut loose as the band picks up the tempo is a joy to behold. Even so, the song is good enough as is. It is one pivotal piece of a trio of albums that raised Santana’s stature, and put that Latin rock fusion on the map.
Please enjoy today’s morning groove, and I hope you have a great start to your week. And as always, thanks for reading and listening.