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 Santana.com Website you will notice that the Santana Tour dates reflect two different tours, the dates with Rod Stewart and the Corazon Tour.


GALAXY DANCE INTRO
1. TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE
2. HOPE YOUR FEELING BETTER
3. BLACK MAGIC WOMAN / GYPSY QUEEN
4. OYE COMO VA
5. MARIA MARIA
6. FOO FOO
7. *CORAZON ESPINADO-(CINDY & BENNY SOLO)
8. JINGO
9. SACALO
10. SAJA/ RIGHT ON/ UMI SAYS
11. SMOOTH/ DAME TU AMOR

*W/ CINDY BLACKMAN-SANTANA

 

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Exciting Santana News!

stewsan

Rod Stewart and Santana Live In Concert

Last year Santana conducted an East Coast tour with The Allman Brothers. We saw that event twice, once in New Jersey at the PAC and next in Hartford. It was a very satisfying gig with Carlos Santana jamming with Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.

This year Santana is teaming up with Rod Stewart for a series of shows called The Voice, The Guitar, The Songs which will cover the U.S. and Canada markets.

I like the two superstars on one card. Rod Stewart is the first rock headline vocalist I ever saw at The Fillmore East way back in 1969. Rod Stewart appeared as the lead singer for The Jeff Beck Group. I loved the contrast of Rod Stewart ever the dandy set against two excellent guitarists, Jeff Beck and Ron Wood.

I have been eager to see Rod Stewart perform live with a stellar guitarist. I trust Rod Stewart will collaborate with Carlos Santana.

Cover Art, Release Date for Corazon

I love the art and graphic design that accents Santana’s recordings. ¬†I wrote about Santana Art and Artists in 2012. The vibrant electric colors are strikingly evident on the forthcoming Corazon recording.

The concept for Corazon was conceived and designed by Boa Mistura, an art collective based in Madrid, Spain that works primarily on public art pieces, developing projects in South Africa, Norway, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. For more information visit Boa Mistura’s Web site.

The Corazon album release date is May 6th on the RCA/SONY LATIN IBERIA Label.

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Rod Stewart – Time

Rod Stewart was the first British Rock lead vocalist I ever saw in concert. I saw Rod Stewart as lead vocalist for The Jeff Beck Group on July 3, 1969. I remember he was quite the dandy. He was tall and strutted across the Fillmore East stage wearing a long white scarf. His voice was very commanding to match his stage presence.

So here we are later in time and I am writing about Rod Stewart’s soon to be released new album,¬†Time (May 7th).

It’s interesting how much has changed in 44 years. I discovered Rod Stewart by accident actually as my goal that night at The Fillmore East was to see my favorite band at the time, Jethro Tull. I didn’t own a lick of Jeff Beck or Rod Stewart’s music before the show. I purchased¬†Beck-Ola¬†on the way to the Subway at The Gramophone.

Today I receive an e-mail from the Rod Stewart mailing list that informs me of the forthcoming album. I navigate with my Web browser to the Rod Stewart Official Website and I become informed about¬†Time¬†and its contents there. I also see that YouTube serves as the video preview point globally for Rod Stewart’s¬†Time.¬†Last but not least I don’t have to leave my easy chair to buy the recording because I can¬†pre-order¬†it ¬†on iTunes or Amazon. Rod Stewart in Internet Time indeed.

 

Edward The Mad Shirt Grinder – The Beautiful Articulation of Nicky Hopkins

Cover of "Beck-Ola"
Cover of Beck-Ola

Jeff Beck Group¬†HandbillNicky Hopkins is without question rock’s greatest session musician. His signature contributions are still felt strongly today, 18 years after his passing. I continue being blown¬†away by the breadth and depth of Nicky Hopkins piano contributions to rock.history

My first encounter with Nicky Hopkins’s musicianship was with The Jeff Beck Group and Beck-Ola. I saw Nicky Hopkins play with The Jeff Beck Group at the Fillmore East on July 3, 1969. He is depicted performing with The Jeff Beck Group on the cover of this definitive book by Julian Dawson.

Nicky Hopkins got his recording start with Del Shannon. You can hear his piano virtuoso as a lad of 17 on the 1961 hit, “Runaway”. ¬†His frail health (he suffered from Crohn’s disease) forced him into the life of a session musician, where he excelled.

Nicky Hopkins was known as the Sixth Stone. His body of work with the Rolling Stones is immeasurable, ranging from “Ruby Tuesday” to “Waiting On A Friend”.

Nicky moved to Mill Valley, California to improve his health and took up with such San Francisco bands as The Jefferson Airplane and Jerry Garcia Band. He was considered a full-partner in Quicksilver Messenger Service and his touch played a fundamental role in Shady Grove and Just For Love.

The musicians he worked with over the decades were very taken with him.

‚ÄúIt was such a thrill to work for him as well as have him work with me. Every time I hear Joe Cocker‚Äôs ‚ÄėYou Are So Beautiful‚Äô I want to cry before Joe‚Äôs even come in. People try to emulate that piano piece, but there‚Äôs only one person could have played that‚ÄĒNicky Hopkins.‚ÄĚ
‚Äď Peter Frampton

He worked with all four of the Beatles when they went solo. I am especially fond of his song, “Edward (The Mad Shirt Grinder)” that he recorded with QMS and on his best solo album, The Tin Man Was A Dreamer (¬†George Harrison,¬†Mick Taylor,¬†Klaus Voormann¬†and Hopkins’ fellow¬†Rolling Stones¬†sidemen¬†Bobby Keys¬†and¬†Jim Price.)


 

Rod Stewart – Merry Christmas, Baby

Each year I like to get a new Christmas album that celebrates the season by filling our home with traditional holiday songs as we decorate the tree and living room. What better way to honor the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ ūüôā than to fill the music of our heart.

I am pleased to see that¬†Rod Stewart will release his first Christmas recording,¬†Merry Christmas, Baby¬†on October 30, 2012. Rod’s command of the Great American Songbook and his later career emphasis as a torch singer has built him an expanded fan base.

I am especially looking forward to the track that features a “virtual duet” with Ella Fitzgerald as they are accompanied by Chris Botti on trumpet. This is a multidimensional collaboration with digital technology playing a key role in bridging the past and the present.

I have been a fan of Rod Stewart’s ever since I saw him perform as the lead singer for the Jeff Beck Group on July 3rd, 1969 at the Fillmore East in the East Village in New York City. He was a striking figure that night in purple turtleneck and a long white knit scarf. He strutted that stage like a dandy.

Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart Together Again

In the summer of 1969, July 3rd to be precise, I saw my first rock concert at the age of 17. We scored tickets to see, Soft White Underbelly (who would become Blue Oyster Cult), Jethro Tull and The Jeff Beck Group at The Fillmore East in the East Village section of New York City.

It was the first and only time I ever attended a rock concert at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East. It’s a fantastic memory in the annals of my 42 years of attending concerts.

The concert was held on the eve of the Newport Jazz Festival going Rock. Jethro Tull and The Jeff Beck Group were scheduled to change jazz festival history by being on that lineup in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Jeff Beck Group headlined The Fillmore East concert. I recall vividly 42 years ago watching Jeff Beck guitar slinging against the Lights by Pablo light show extravaganza. Rod Stewart was the vocalist extraordinaire. He was the dandy with a long scarf that he threw about his neck as he strutted the stage like a peacock.

The Jeff Beck Group that night also featured Ron Wood on bass guitar, Nicky Hopkins on piano and Tony Newman on drums. They tore the roof off The Fillmore East venue that night. Here is a vintage YouTube  video from that evening.

The concert left a lasting impression on my psyche.  I recall that on the way to the subway station we stopped at The Gramophone Record Store and I bought The Jeff Beck Group album Beck-Ola. I wore the needle down on my hi-fi system playing that record that summer.


The Jeff Beck Group broke up the following month just before Woodstock which they were scheduled to play.

A lot can happen in 42 years. Jeff Beck had a fantastic 2nd comeback year in 2010 with his recording, Emotion & Commotion which is nominated for five Grammy awards to be announced on Sunday, February 13th. Rod Stewart has being having great success with his Great American Songbook recordings. Ron Wood is the bassist for The Rolling Stones and a highly successful painter in his own right.

I was elated to learn that Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart decided over dinner in late December of 2010 to reunite and record an album together. To pick right up where they left off 42 years ago. Never say never in this life. ūüėČ For more specifics about this future collaboration please refer to the February 1st Rolling Stone Magazine article, Exclusive: Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck Getting Closer to Recording Together Again.

As it stands now Jeff Beck has sent Rod Stewart some tapes of the new album and Rod Stewart is adding the vocals. Should be real sweet when this recording is complete later this year.

This YouTube video will give you a taste for Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart live. Rod Stewart made a surprise appearance at Jeff Beck’s 2009 concert in Los Angeles at the El Ray, watch Jeff Beck’s reaction ūüôā