Santana will perform at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater during the “Blessings and Miracles” tour
Carlos Santana speaks a bit like he owns a guitar, melodically, connecting sustained intervals with a fluidity that takes the minor blues in the eternal ride, animated by spiritual joy.
On the eve of another tour, with his upcoming album “Blessings and Miracles”, Carlos Humberto Santana BarragÃ¡n, 74, who exploded onto the pop scene in Woodstock more than 50 years ago, feels grateful and happy.
The Latin-African-American fusion rock group that has carried its name for more than five decades, through its various iterations and adaptations, will perform at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater at 8 p.m. on Friday.
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Inspiration behind the new album ‘Blessings and Miracles’
Modern technology has enabled the distant and secure recordings of COVID-19 that have become âBlessings and Miracles,â including a new collaboration with Rob Thomas, the single âMoveâ feeling like an electric evolution of their No.1 smash from 20 years. , “Smooth.” But Santana is especially happy to return to live performances.
“It’s a delight and very euphoric,” he said in a telephone interview before the start of the tour. “My heart feels really, really grateful. I feel like a surfer who only catches seventh waves.” (In surfer parlance, the ocean waves roll in sets of seven, the last one being the most powerful, the one they all expect).
The title of the new album, due for release in October, reflects this mood.
âIt occurred to me when I saw, in my mind’s eye, when I saw the blanket,â he said, which focuses on a vivid depiction of TlÄloc, an Aztec god of rain. âSo I said, ‘Oh, blessings and miracles.’ Everyone has been imbued with powers, heavenly miracles.
“You are able to become a spiritual adult and focus only on words and actions that are uplifting and uplifting.”
The songs came to him for the most part, he said, several times almost complete, awaiting interactions. Thomas and the band American Authors wrote “Move”, the first single, at a fast pace of 2:45, for the new solo record by singer-songwriter Matchbox Twenty. But recognizing his Latin feel, Thomas – who performed at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in June 2019, singing “Smooth” as part of his encore – shared it with Santana. âMoveâ feels, to him, like a prototypical summer song, Santana said.
âTo quote my sister Lauryn Hill, it assaults all of your senses,â he said.
Collaborating with artists he has “not yet met in person”
Kirk Hammett of Metallica performs on the track “America for Sale”, with lead vocalist Mark Osegueda of Death Angel. Another legend of Santana’s generation, Steve Winwood, who before huge solo success led bands such as Traffic, Spencer Davis Group and Blind Faith, joins Santana for a percussive / rhythmic reinterpretation of “Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procul Harem.
âWe’re so blessed with the last song Chick Corea created, he sent it to me,â Santana said. “But then he left, he transcended, as they say in the 60s”, dying in February of a recently discovered cancer.
Composer and keyboardist Corea’s “Angel Choir / All Together” appears as the 14th track from “Blessings and Miracles”, with his wife Gayle Moran Corea adding the vocals.
âSomeone can be in another part of the world, but when I close my eyes they’re still in the room,â Santana said. âThe Aborigines, the Siberian shamans, the Mexican shamans, the Native American shamans, believe that the supernatural is something real. It is not luck, it is not chance, it is not fortune. .. it is grace.
“If you have an open heart, the god of the universe, Jesus, whatever name you give him, presents you with an avalanche of opportunity.”
Songwriter Diane Warren (“Rhythm of the Night”, “If I Could Turn Back Time”, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and many more) and rapper G-Eazy contribute to ” She’s Fire “, announced as the second single from the disc. Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton joins Santana on “Joy,” and Living Color singer Corey Glover performs on “Peace Power.”
âIt’s amazing how people put their songs together sometimes, and the moment it comes to me I’m like, ‘Oh yeah’ the components and ingredients come together,â Santana said. “They’ll say ‘Hey, we’ve got this song, would you like to play?’ Such magnanimous energy: passion fire, and passion fire Most of the time (the songs) just land on my knees.
âI can say it with clarity and honesty; about 60% of the musicians, artists, co-writers and producers I haven’t met in person yet. It was almost like divine intelligence orchestrated behind the scenes, for me to share with them. “
‘Hear yesterday, today and tomorrow
A handful of his collaborators he knows quite well: his daughter Stella sings on “Breathing Underwater”, and his son Salvador, keyboardist and singer, is the “cream on top” of “Rumbaleros”.
“I love the songs I made with my kids,” he said, noting that “Breathing Underwater” is “dreamy and delicious. I feel like I’m on the streets of Europe “.
His second wife, Cindy Blackman Santana, has been the group’s percussionist for over a decade; Santana proposed to him on stage on July 9, 2010, immediately after his drum solo. They married later that year.
The other musicians we’ll see and hear in Tuscaloosa have been with the group for about 20 years, he said. Salvador and Stella may join the tour, but at the time of the interview that was on hold, as both had recently become parents.
âI’m a grandfather!â He laughed.
In our tough times, Santana echoed the late Timothy Leary, suggesting that the modern world needs to âturn on, plug in and give up,â especially watching less TV.
âWhen you turn off the television, you start to hear the stars twinkle,â Santana said. âYou can hear birdsong, children’s song.â¦ Then you hear what is really eternal. Because all these other things are very temporal.â
On Friday evening, Santana will bring “peace, light, love and joy,” he said.
Recent setlists show the band visiting almost every eras, starting with “Soul Sacrifice,” the scorching Woodstock song that lit their path, then paying homage to a major influence with Babatunde Olatunji’s “Jingo”, followed by “Evil Ways. “, Santana’s first top 10 shots. These are all excerpts from the band’s first record, released later in the summer of 1969, after Woodstock.
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A few hits from the 70s followed, notably “Oye Como Va”, “Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen”, “Samba Pa Ti” and their 1977 cover of Zombies “She’s Not There”. Excerpts from “Miracles and Blessings” follow, including “Move” and “She’s Fire”. Extracts from albums, covers of Chambers Brothers and Youngbloods are interspersed, and of course the recall includes “Smooth”.
âWhen you come to see Santana,â he said, âyou hear yesterday, today and tomorrow.
All remaining tickets are on sale at www.ticketmaster.com and at the amphitheater box office for $ 100, $ 70, $ 60 and $ 40, plus fees. For more information, see www.tuscaloosaamphitheater.com.