So… Happy anniversary to me! Today marks the 3rd anniversary of this here silly assed blog, AND the 12th anniversary of me on Twitter, which is even more silly assed! So, I got that going for me.
But of course, that’s not what I came here to tell you about (been a while since I’ve used that line and thank you Mr. Guthrie).
For those of you that have been paying attention you may have noticed my every now and then mentioning a certain list of guitar gods. On this most auspicious day (see paragraph one above) I feel it’s time to start honoring those gods (and goddesses). As a reminder, this list has not been written down, it’s all in “me ‘ead”. As such, it is a very fluid list. Any ranking on said list is purely whimsical and is subject to change depending on my mood and/or alcohol consumption.
For those that know me best the artist I’m using to start this series off may come as a surprise. Those that have been reading this blog (and thanks to each and every one of you) know that my “top three” guitar gods, both chronologically and favoritism are Mike Nesmith, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton. I have featured each of those artists many times, so I went with someone else this time.
I guess it’s not all that surprising that my favorite songs by this gentleman are instrumental. After all, Carlos Santana doesn’t sing on his recordings. He is first and foremost a guitarist. I can’t say for sure, but I would think the name Santana, as a band, first hit me with Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen. After all the AM radio stations didn’t play tracks like Soul Sacrifice it just wasn’t radio friendly. Along with the aforementioned Soul Sacrifice, the other great instrumentals I can dig are Samba Pa Ti and Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile).
I remember the first time I heard Europa. When that track hit the stylus on my turntable everything else stopped. The sustain Carlos gets out of his guitar then followed by the machine gun like riffs just blew me away.
To see a young Carlos and band, check out the footage from Woodstock. Rumor has it that Carlos was tripping on LSD while on stage. Their set was delayed by a rain storm and Carlos was hanging out with Jerry Garcia (he of course is on the list as well) in the artist trailer and well, you can imagine what happened.
Major rock music promoter Bill Graham, a Latin Music aficionado who had been a fan of Santana from its inception, arranged for the band to appear at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival before its debut album was even released. Its set was one of the surprises of the festival, highlighted by an eleven-minute performance of a throbbing instrumental, “Soul Sacrifice”. Its inclusion in the Woodstock film and soundtrack album vastly increased the band’s popularity.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Santana
Here is a live video with two my favorite instrumentals. Enjoy!