Blessings and Miracles

While many of Carlos Santana’s peers coast on their catalog of hits, the guitar legend follows his muse and actually creates new music. Blessings and Miracles, like most of his albums since 1999’s behemoth Supernatural, features guests across multiple genres.

“Santana Celebration” is a jolt of Woodstock-era intensity, celebrating Carlos’ fat PRS tone, Mesa-Boogie overdrive, and wah work. Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas – who sang on the mammoth single “Smooth” – fronts the punchy “Move,” which also includes guitarist Zac Barnett and American Authors. Classic-rock fans will dig a cover of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” with Steve Winwood on vocals. The original’s ethereal feel is given an earthier sound, thanks to Latin percussion and Santana doubling the signature organ melody on guitar.

Two hard-rock explosions are “Peace Power,” with Living Colour vocalist Corey Glover, and “America for Sale” with Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett and Death Angel vocalist Mark Osegueda. Hammett and Santana trade scorching licks for a lengthy stretch. “Break,” with Ally Brooke’s breathy vocals, drifts with melodic guitar accents before building dramatically.
While the guest-artist approach is clearly a formula, Carlos is one of the few guitar heroes who can seriously pull it off.

This article originally appeared in VG’s January 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

No posts to display