Sunday, May 22, 2011

Señor guitar slinger

By Al Tays

Look for Al Tays
to ruffle just the
right feathers on
Sundays at the Sanctuary.
We come today to sing the praises of Carlos Santana. Not a new concept, certainly, but in noting that Santana's "Maria Maria" was in the midst of a 10-week run at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 on this date in 2000, I am reminded that Santana, who has entertained us all since the 1960s, helped ease the pain of what this hopelessly-stuck-in-the-'70s fossil considered an especially barren time in contemporary music.

First, there was "Smooth," Santana's monster hit (with Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty) off the Supernatural album. How monster was "Smooth"? Well, it spent 12 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the end of 1999, making it the last No. 1 song of the 20th century and, incredibly, Santana's first No. 1 hit.

"Maria Maria," off the same album, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 8, 2000, and stayed there for 10 weeks. Recorded with vocals from the R&B duo The Product G&B, "Maria Maria" is evocative of "West Side Story," which is always a good thing. The Latin beat is infectious, but it's Santana's guitar playing -- on both an Alavarez Yairi classical acoustic and his signature PRS electric -- that puts the song over the top.

But enough blah blah blah. Have a listen, and join me in thanking the guitar gods for the gift of Señor Santana.

No comments:

Post a Comment