Santana, The Allman Brothers Band
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD, 21044
Delivered with a level of passion and soul equal to the legendary sonic charge of his guitar, the sound of Carlos Santana is one of the world's best-known musical signatures. For more than four decades—from Santana's earliest days as a groundbreaking Afro-Latin-blues-rock fusion outfit in San Francisco—Carlos has been the visionary force behind artistry that transcends musical genres and generational, cultural and geographical boundaries.
Long before the category now known as “world music” was named, Santana's ever-evolving sound was always ahead of its time in its universal appeal, and today registers as ideally in sync with the 21st century’s pan-cultural landscape. And, with a dedication to humanitarian outreach and social activism that parallels his lifelong relationship with music, Carlos Santana is as much an exemplary world citizen as a global music icon.
Santana's star arrived in the era-defining late 1960s San Francisco Bay Area music scene with historic shows at the Fillmore and other storied venues. The group emerged onto the global stage with an epic set at the Woodstock festival in 1969, the same year that its self-titled debut LP Santana came out. Introducing Santana's first Top 10 hit, “Evil Ways,” the disc stayed on Billboard’s album chart for two years and was soon followed by two more classics — and Billboard #1 albums — Abraxas and Santana III.
Ever since, for more than forty years and almost as many albums later, Santana has sold more than 100 million records and reached more than 100 million fans at concerts worldwide. To date, Santana has won 10 GRAMMY® Awards, including a record-tying nine for a single project, 1999’s Supernatural (including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for “Smooth”). In 1998, the group was ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, whose website notes, “Guitarist Carlos Santana is one of rock’s true virtuosos and guiding lights.”
Among many other honors, Carlos Santana received Billboard Latin Music Awards’ 2009 Lifetime Achievement honor, and, he was bestowed Billboard’s Century Award in 1996. He has also been cited by Rolling Stone as #20 on the magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”—“Santana's crystalline tone and clean arcing sustain make him the rare instrumentalist who can be identified in just one note.” And, with the 2010 release of Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time¬, Santana joined the Rolling Stones as one of only two music acts in Billboard history to score at least one Top Ten album in each decade from the 1960s on.
Santana’s latest album, Shape Shifter (2012) is the first for his new label, Starfaith Records. The 13-song set is an instrumental tour de force long awaited by fans (only one song features vocals, by Santana’s lead vocalists Andy Vargas and Tony Lindsay). The album also features Chester Thompson on keyboards, Dennis Chambers on drums, Benny Rietveld on bass, Salvador Santana on keyboards, Raul Rekow on congas and Karl Perazzo on percussion.
Carlos dedicated the album to Native American Indians, acknowledging Australia’s 2008 apology to the Aborigines, and President Obama’s signing of the 2009 Native American Apology Resolution. He says, “I encourage any and all countries (that have not as yet done so) to acknowledge the first people of their land, and make this a collective global effort.” Comprising mostly original compositions that Carlos has been setting aside for such a project, the album’s sequence is as thoughtful as its track selection—the songs flow together as the magical sustain of his guitar and the spirit behind every note makes music that defies all cultural and language barriers—the music of Santana.
Beyond music, in the lifestyle and entertainment realm, River Of Colors (ROC) has enjoyed tremendous success with the Carlos by Carlos Santana and Unity by Carlos Santana brand names. Founded in 1997, ROC is dedicated to bringing products to market that embody the passion and integrity of Carlos Santana—and that are true to his distinctive style and taste. ROC’s endeavors encompass products including shoes, handbags, headwear and sparkling wine, as well as signature musical instruments including electric guitars and hand percussion instruments. ROC products are distributed at better retail stores internationally. For more information, visit www.santana.com
The arc of Santana’s performing and recording career is complemented by a lifelong devotion to social activism and humanitarian causes. The Milagro Foundation, originally established by Carlos Santana and his family in 1998, has granted more than five million dollars to non-profit programs supporting underserved children and youth in the areas of arts, education and health. Milagro means “miracle,” and the image of children as divine miracles of light and hope—gifts to our lives—is the inspiration behind its name.
The Allman Brothers Band
They formed in 1969, but the road veterans continue to tour like they have something to prove. And they're already legends, with a secure place in history, a plaque at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a 2012 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. But THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND is also a vital contemporary phenomenon, as much a part of the present and future of music as any band can be.
In early 2003, the group released the critically lauded Hittin' The Note, their first new studio project in nine years (and 24th overall). Released March 18, 2003 on their own Peach label, these 11 tracks proved the band's ability to adapt its classic sound to the energy and aesthetics of modern rock. The ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND underlined the success of Hittin' The Note (including two Grammy nominations for the track "Instrumental Illness") with a live DVD and CD recorded in New York during the group's annual marathon of shows at the Beacon Theatre (which they have packed over 150 times, including 13 sell-outs in 2007). The group also continues to release music from their personal archives, which they've guarded closely over the years.
The Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon Theatre...just hearing the phrase conjures up images and sounds of well executed and passionately played live rock and roll. To capture the event for fans who might not necessarily have been lucky enough to get into the 2894-seat venue, the group recorded the shows, and released the Live At The Beacon Theatre DVD in late '03, and it was quickly certified platinum. One Way Out, a live album from the same Beacon stand, came out in March 2004. Both of those along with Hittin' The Note were re-released in 2011 via their own Peach Records (via their new distribution deal with Entertainment One Music).
2003 also brought further accolades for the ALLMANS. The band was recognized by Rolling Stone for featuring four of the top 100 guitarists of all time: the late Duane Allman was cited as #2, while current guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks came in at #23 and #81, respectively. Known as one of rock's best live acts, the Allman Brothers Band were one of only two artists whose live albums ranked in the top 50 of Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time." The Allman Brothers Band was honored for At Fillmore East (while James Brown was saluted for Live At The Apollo). An expanded version of At Fillmore East and the previously unavailable Atlanta International Pop Festival (the July 1970 concert that they both opened and closed) were released to critical and fan acclaim. The group was selected as the first artist to introduce the "Instant Live" program, whereby fans were able to purchase CD copies of the Allman Brothers Band concert they just saw, immediately after the show. In 2006, another honor was bestowed upon Brother Gregg Allman: he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in the performer category (the band was inducted in 1998) and his brother Duane was inducted in 1982.
Not many groups have been around as long as The Allman Brothers Band. Of those that have, most have either lapsed into a nostalgia-act coma or withered on a weary vine. If you're talking about a band that has both legs and heart, whose experience feeds an intensity that's rare even among the greenest music newbies, that narrows the field pretty much down to these psychedelic sons of the South.
But passion doesn't come easily, which helps explain why it's taken them so long to record once again. In April 1997, frustrated by tensions within the group that were threatening to slow its creative momentum, Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody left to pursue Gov't Mule (with whom Haynes still tours and releases new music, as well as with his solo project), and the focus of the group shifted exclusively to live performance. Though they still delivered killer shows, something was missing, and eventually it became clear that the only way to get it back was to make a change in the personnel.
The Brothers had been in this place before; in 1999 it expanded its improvisational range by bringing a then-fresh faced, 21-year-old Derek Trucks, into the lineup, with a solo style that mingled elements of Southern rock, bluesy slide guitar, and free-form jazz. In September 2000, after the departure of longtime guitarist Dickey Betts, they reached this time into their past by inviting Haynes to come back. It was a poignant moment for all concerned, as Allen Woody's passing had suddenly put Gov't Mule on hold.
Sitting in with the Allman Brothers Band in 2001, during their annual concert series at New York's Beacon Theatre, Haynes slid easily into his old role, trading licks and cruising through the group's trademark twin-guitar passages, paired for the first time with Trucks. That's all it took to convince the band to start laying down tracks again.
"Everybody was itching to get back into the studio," Haynes says. "We all wanted to break some new ground, and at the same time we wanted to maintain the Allman Brothers Band. Of course, that's not difficult with this band, but with all the new blood and excitement about making a new record, we found ourselves exploring a lot of new territory. The chemistry between me and Derek very quickly reached a telepathic level, and I think Gregg started singing better than he has since the '70s."
More critically, a rush of new songs accelerated the band's momentum. "Gregg and I started writing, and everything fell into place, even more so than in the past," Haynes says. "The first song we wrote this time out was 'Desdemona,' and it was such a high water mark that we were like, 'Okay, now we've got to compete with that in every song we write.'"
They kept to that standard on all the original titles recorded for Hittin' The Note. (The album also includes two covers, Freddy King's "Woman Across the River" and the Rolling Stones' "Heart Of Stone," along with "Rockin' Horse," which Allman, Haynes, Woody, and Jack Pearson co-wrote in 1994.) In settings that range from the intimate acoustic guitar duo "Old Friends" to the turbulent long-form (and Grammy-nominated) jam "Instrumental Illness," Hittin' The Note proves that this band is bigger than any era through which it has passed, as strong as any of the many acts it has inspired, with a lot more history still to be made.
"Things have changed in a good way," Gregg Allman muses. "They say everything happens for the best, and you wonder why at the time, but then in the long run you see why. Someone will go, and that's a real drag, but then somebody else comes in who adds so much more than you even expected. With the people we've got now, as long as we just keep playing without any gimmicks or cutting any corners, I guess we'll be around for a long time more."
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