Music » Livewire

Santana

with Macy Gray. Friday, August 11, at Blossom.

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It's common knowledge that, in August of 1969, legendary promoter Bill Graham muscled his then unknown band Santana onto the Woodstock stage, jump-starting the career of potent, Latin-tinged guitarist Carlos Santana. Working with a cast of different musicians throughout the '70s and '80s, Santana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, an event which signaled the start of his rebirth. Some 30 years after Graham changed Santana's life, another key music industry figure, former Arista President Clive Davis, had the vision to team Santana up with some of today's bigger names -- Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, and Dave Matthews -- for his most recent album, 1999's Supernatural. The payoff came with the hit "Smooth," which features Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas on vocals. Mixing Latin street blues guitar with pure pop vocal harmonies, the track was a huge radio hit and helped Santana practically sweep the Grammys. Lost in all this hype is the fact that the songs on Supernatural are only as good as the guest stars make them, and you've got to be skeptical about Santana's ability to pull things off live without the help of his well-known friends.

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