Looking back at the lineup at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, it is easily forgotten that several of the acts that would soon achieve super star status were, on that August weekend, relative newbies. There was an east coast buzz about the amazing California guitarist fronting the band playing under his last name. Carlos Santana and Gregg Rolie performed together in the Santana Blues Band form 1966-68. The group made it's debut as just Santana in June of '68 at the Fillmore West, but its debut album was still days shy of being released when the band hit the Woodstock stage. The riveting set it delivered from that stage on August 15 created an instant sensation. The masterful guitar work of Carlos and driving percussion anchored by Michael Shrieve, who just over a month out of his teens, proved to be a highlight of the event and helped make both the Santana debut album and the Woodstock Soundtrack release huge sellers. The band would achieve bigger success the following year with the release of Abraxas, a #1 album, and the addition of an even younger member, a hot teenage guitarist named Neal Schon.
Plans recently emerged that will bring almost all of the primary players in the original Santana back together. Carlos has confirmed the report initiated by comments by Schon, saying 'As well as Neal, we have the two Mikes (Carabello & Shrieve). I'm pretty sure Greg (Rolie)'s going to do it.' Original bass player David Brown passed away in 2000 and there was no mention of percussionist Jose 'Chepito' Areas. As for what to expect on the album the guitarist hopes to put out next year, Carlos says, 'It will be like Santana IV because we stopped at Santana III.' We say, Bring it on!
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