Rusted Root IndieGoGo

I don’t know about you but I love to crowdfund. It affords the loyal fan who is a passionate patrons of the arts the opportunity to invest in the artist projects we believe in! Crowdfunding liberates the music for those who cherish it the most artist and fan.

Rusted Root is a very cool band. They have a great energy that surrounds them. I first saw Rusted Root twelve years ago as the opening act for Santana at the Meadows in Hartford, Ct. It was a lovely summer evening and they created a fine groove that evening for the crowd. They invited fans to stop by their merch table after their set to talk, to sign and sell their music. I regret that I didn’t venture out to meet them.

But life offers us second chances. As luck would have it I am arranging a telephone interview with Rusted Root next week. The impetus for our discussion is to learn more about the band, their music and help to promote their IndieGoGo crowdfund project.

Navigate over to the Rusted Root IndieGoGo Page and see if there is something you’d like for your collection or to help them out with so they can make that next great recording.

I am also planning to attend their set at Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport on Thursday July 31, 2014.



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Concert Review: Santana and Rod Stewart, Mohegan Sun, May 25, 2014

The last time I saw Santana live was during their co-headliner tour with the Allman Bros. in July of 2012. The band’s trend of co-headlining East Coast concerts continues this year with Santana teaming up with Rod Stewart.

I go way back in concert with each of these legendary artists. I first caught Rod Stewart as lead vocalist with the Jeff Beck Group at the Fillmore East on July 3, 1969. I then saw Santana for the first time live the following year, November 14, 1970 at the Capitol Theatre in Portchester, New York. What’s interesting about both artists is that there was a significant gap in time before I saw either of them again. I re engaged with Santana in August of 2002 (a 32 year gap). I have since seen Santana perform live an extra 19 times (21 Santana concerts in 44 years, 20 of those shows in the past 12 years). I had not seen Rod Stewart perform in 45 years. So let’s do the time warp again ūüėČ

The concert was billed as The Voice, The Guitar and The Songs, Rod Stewart, Santana. The Santana band was the opening act. It’s important to note that this is not the Santana¬†Corazon¬†Tour. If you look at the Website you will notice that the Santana Tour dates reflect two different tours, the dates with Rod Stewart and the Corazon Tour.




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Santana: De Coraz√≥n – HBO Latino Special

From Team Santana: We invite everybody to watch Santana: De Corazón, a #HBOLatino special featuring an inside look into Carlos’ upcoming album Corazón and his first show in Guadalajara in years.

Tune in to HBO Latino on April 21st 9:30pm/8:30c, #CorazonLive

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Victory Is Won – Santana

The art of the instrumental can be powerfully felt through tight musicianship and coordinating playing. The instrumental track, “Victory is Won” highlights the drumming of Dennis Chambers (love the rolls at the end) along with how well Chester Thompson dances his fingers across his Hammond B3 organ. Carlos Santana tops things off with his glass slide technique down the neck of his Paul Reed Smith. Benny Rietveld plays bass. This four piece ensemble recorded many of the Shape Shifter¬†album tracks together.

There are two ways I love to hear this instrumental performed. The first is to play the instrumental recording from the Santana Shaman audio compact disk.

The second way is live. My wife and I attended the November 1, 2005 Webcast Concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, in celebration of ¬†the Santana album,¬†All That I Am¬†launch.¬†It was an all star evening with special guests Robert Randolph and Anthony Hamilton who are on that album. Clive Davis was there sitting in the opera booth and we walked behind him when the crowd let out ūüôā

We witnessed a great rendition of “Victory Is Won” as we stood very close to the stage that night. Trust me it was as cool as the video evidences.



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Santana Appears on the NBC Today Show in 2002 (We were there)

I thought my readers would like to see one of my first Web pages about Santana from 2002. I barely knew anything about creating HTML in those days. I wrote this report in Microsoft Word hoping to publish it as HTML output somewhere? I didn’t have my own Web site twelve years ago.

I was fortunate to be a member of the Moonflower Cafe (a Santana Fan Bulletin Board) that was administered by¬†Gilberto Vera. It just so happens that Gil is back once more in that same primary role after a hiatus. Gil took my original Word/HTML document and dressed it up for me on the Moonflower Cafe as an HTML page. That link is here. I appreciate to this day that he still has that Web link and page displaying. Thank you Gil, please check your PayPal ūüėČ

I thought it might be fun to see the content again as a WordPress blog post in 2014.

Enjoy all! Viva Gil and Viva Santana!


October 22nd, 2002

Santana with Special Guests, Michelle Branch and the Product G&B

Rocktober Concert Series, sponsored by NBC Today Show and Westwood One Studios

30 Rockefeller Plaza, NY City, N.Y.

Never in our wildest dreams did my wife and I realize when our alarm went off at 3:00 am, what a spontaneous day lie ahead of us in New York City. Witnessing Santana perform live has become a joyous celebration for our souls and spirit. The early morning concert allowed us to get closer to the oneness Carlos and his band magically creates in our loving hearts.

The drive from New Haven, CT to New York City proved to be its usual white knuckle experience even in the early morning hours. We were fortunate to arrive just ahead of the morning Manhattan commute. We quickly located a parking garage on 50th and Lexington Avenue, at the Waldorf Astoria, where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are held every year. Our walk to 30 Rockefeller Plaza at West 49th Street ended up being just a few blocks. But what a magical walk it became for us.

Just before we reached the Today Show plaza, we were greeted in the darkened shadows of early morning by the searing guitar opening to the Supernatural selection, “(Da Le)¬† Yaleo”. As the notes flowed from Carlos’s guitar, the band joined flight. I don’t think my wife and I will ever forget that moment in time. The Santana sound bounced off the buildings right into our hearts. It was very exciting to be greeted by surprise like this as we scrambled to discover¬†the best viewing spot.

We ran to the back of the raised platform as the Santana band worked its groove. My wife and I were redirected by building security to use the West 48th Street entrance. We entered the Today Show Plaza on West 48th Street maneuvering through a small group of people. We claimed our spot at the front of the railed fence where we stood for the next three hours.

Carlos was wearing a navy blue Olympics 2000 jacket with a blue knit cap and single red stripe. He cranked away on the opening chorus of “(Da Le) Yaleo”. The rest of the band was bundled up in winter coats as it was a cold but manageable 41 degrees. Thankfully, the flood lights were raised high in front of where we were standing so we could see everyone in the band clearly as we danced happily to “(Da Le) Yaleo”. A dream come true unfolded as we observed Santana for FREE in the heart of New York City. I flashed on how it might have been reminiscent of the free concerts Santana played in the 60’s and early 70’s in San Francisco. We were blessed to watch Santana practice as they made refinements to their sound, with Carlos motioning that his acoustic guitar needed to be tuned more closely to the sound he wanted to achieve. The band appeared electrified but very professional about appearing on a national broadcast in front of the Today Show viewing audience.

The sound check allowed us to preview all three songs that would be played for the 8:30 am live broadcast that morning¬†(The Game of Love, Maria, Maria and Yaleo). Michelle Branch looked colder than we were feeling. She was wearing a navy peacoat and a baseball cap pulled down over her ears. She sang “The Game Of Love, a song that has grown appreciably for us. It has been a revelation to see the song mature as it gets more significant airplay, from the MTV video, to the A&E Live Request event, and then broadcast on the MTV TRL show. We enjoyed Michelle’s interaction level with the band, her vocal mixed well with Tony Lindsay and Andy Vargas’s voices. I especially enjoyed the interplay between Carlos and Michelle as they collaborate singing and playing off each other. We are eager to purchase¬†The Game of Love¬†CD single with the alternate track when it is released sometime in November.

It was especially rewarding to see Santana play “Maria, Maria¬†with the Product G & B. My wife and I had seen Santana this summer at The Meadows in Hartford, where they played the hit “Maria, Maria”¬†with Tony and Andy trading off lead vocals. As much as we love Tony and Andy’s energy it was even more “On” when presented with the original collaborators, Product G&B on stage. The closeness they share with Carlos adds a unique balance in how the song takes on a life of its own.

The band then went inside the NBC building as daylight began to enter the plaza The NBC Today Show television monitors which encircled the plaza roof tops brought us back to a stark reality as the lead story stated Another shooting in Maryland occurred this morning as we watched in disbelief more senseless brutality of our fellow Americans. The Today Show unfolded as various guests had their time before the cameras, Carol Burnett, Arnold Scwarzenneger, etc.

Then at 8:15 a.m. Katie Couric joined us in the plaza as Santana, Michelle Branch and the Product G&B took the stage. At 8:30 a.m. the Today Show began to run a video clip about Carlos Santana and the recent success of the group. I never tire of seeing clips from Woodstock or Supernatural interspersed. The Santana video added to our excitement as the video’s¬†pace and musical backing were tastefully done.

Photo by Rosemary Jennings

Our excitement for the live concert moment built as Katie Couric spoke with Carlos and Michelle about the making of The Game of Love recording. Katie also commented that the Shaman CD was being released that day, worldwide as Wyclef Jean would say.

Next thing we know the band is playing “The Game of Love”¬†as my wife and I clapped and danced along to the beat of this salsa-like song. Michelle was in even better voice for the broadcast as the sunshine helped bring out the clarity of her voice. Carlos looked truly content as he played his guitar and encouraged us to clap along. It was fascinating to see the city come alive in front of our eyes as early morning darkness gave way to dawn and sunlit building sides stood all around us.

After “The¬†Game of Love¬†ended, the Product G&B took the stage. We just love their energy and enthusiasm. The intersection of hip hop and afro-cuban rhythm gets us moving up and down.¬†Maria, Maria¬†is my favorite hit on Supernatural, a tough choice to make on that megarecording.

Photo by Rosemary Jennings

After the band did a very spirited rendition of “(Da Le) Yaleo”¬†for the plaza crowd, we watched as Carlos stepped off the stage to shake a few hands and we yelled to him, “Carlos”, he graciously smiled and waved back to us as we smiled and waved to him. Then he signed an autograph or two for the front group of fans and exited into the NBC building.

Our morning got more interesting as we were given free tickets see for the Caroline Rhea Show. We learned as we waited in the halls of NBC’s Studio that the special musical guest was going to be Tracy Chapman, so we got to see her and her band perform the song You’re The One from her new CD Let it Rain. We were also given FREE DVD’s of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial 20th Anniversary and the Harry Potter movie . The special guest who was filmed after the 10:00 am daily show taping was the star of Harry Potter who we happened to see as we were getting off the elevator exiting the building. Our final thrill was buying the Shaman CD at HMV Records on 5th Avenue where the cashier informed us that Carlos was her customer on Friday October 18th. I wonder what CDs Carlos purchased that day?, seems we were following in his past footsteps as we walked to our car to drive back to Connecticut. A spiritual and healing day for us as we listened to the Shaman CD all the way home in the car!

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Will You Welcome From My Heart, Santana

Ten years ago I was in the midst of purchasing every album in the Santana catalogue for my music collection. It’s very rare that I collect every commercial recording by an artist. When I purchased the Santana album,¬†Milagro¬†I discovered how pivotal this recording was in Carlos Santana’s evolutionary growth.

Cover of "Milagro"

Milagro was dedicated to the lives of Bill Graham and Miles Davis, two instrumental figures to Carlos Santana.

Here is¬†Bill Graham’s introduction of Santana:

Good evening, thank you for being with us. Welcome to a very, very special¬†occasion. Some years ago some of us heard and felt a very special sound, about the joy of loving, the joy of giving and thank God it’s with us this evening. Will you welcome from my heart, Santana.


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Santana Corazon Album Pack Preorder (Includes Special T-Shirt)

The Santana Corazon Album Pack preorder includes the new album “Corazon” and the album cover t-shirt.

Here is the song and artist listing for Santana’s first Spanish album, ¬†Corazon¬†due to be available May 6th.

1. Saideira (Spanish version) which features Samuel Rosa

2. La Flaca featuring Juanes

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3. Mal Bicho will feature Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

4. Oye 2014 featuring Pitbull

5. Iron Lion Zion which features Ziggy Marley and ChocQuibTown

6.¬†Una Noche En N√°poles¬†featuring¬†Lila Downs,¬†Ni√Īa Pastori¬†& Soledad

7. Besos De Lejos will feature Gloria Estefan

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8. Margarita featuring Romeo Santos

9. Indy which features Miguel

10. Feel It Coming Back features Diego Torres

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11. Yo Soy La Luz will feature Wayne Shorter & Cindy Blackman Santana

12. I See Your Face


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Santana – Incident At Neshabur [1970]

I discovered this Santana video from 1970. I like how clear the video is, considering the video segment was filmed 44 years ago. I especially like the percussive interplay between Michael Shrieve (drums) and Jose “Chepito” Areas (timbales). The instrumental “Incident at Neshabur” takes on a new-found significance after watching the Santana band perform.

“Incident at Neshabur” is a studio recording track that can be found on Santana’s second album,¬†Abraxas.¬†A mystical gem in canon of Santana recordings.

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