To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival in 1969, The Gregg Rolie Band will be performing at the Hard Rock Café in New York City on June 4th 2009.
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Making this an extra special attendance will be original Santana drummer Michael Shrieve, who will join Gregg and original conga player Mike Carabello. Thus, 50% of the original Santana band will be performing that night. Original timbales player Jose “Chepito” Areas’ son Adrian will also be part of the ensemble, following in his father’s footsteps on timbales, drawing the Santana links even closer. The Woodstock film has been re-mastered by Edie Kramer, among others, in a new stunning 5.1 stereo print. The Santana band are among the artists re-presented with entirely new footage and will be featured in the extra filming with a song from their hour long set, Evil Ways.

Apparently there were rumours of the Persuasion song’s inclusion in this Woodstock edition’s extras but the powers that be at Sony allegedly have held this back.

Gregg Rolie and Michael Shrieve have also been the focus of the renowned documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple (who has done incisive and weighty documentaries on The Dixie Chicks and Gregory Peck, amongst others). Kopple has interviewed them both for an upcoming film (in tandem with Michael Lang)
on Woodstock and its significance. This film is for the VH1/History Channel. Apparently Matt Cameron, the Seattle based drummer, who has played with Soundgarden, has also done an interview with Shrieve and Michael’s current band Spellbinder has been filmed also.

Michael Shrieve noted that Woodstock “changed the course of my life. To this day not a day goes by when someone doesn’t bring it up,” either in person or online. He and bandmate Greg Rolie also discussed whether guitarist Carlo Santana had taken acid or mescaline before the group went on – earlier, they noted, than expected.”
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In a recent telephone conversation Gregg recalls the nascent Santana performance, “ At Woodstock, we really didn’t think it was a big deal. We were like jazz players. Carlos had his back to the audience a lot. I don’t remember that we really even talked about the gig that much afterward. We were essentially playing to each other. There just happened to be 50.000 people watching at the time!”


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Singled Out Classics: Black Magic Woman

02/25/2009 

(antiMusic) We have a very special edition of Singled Out for you today! Legendary rocker Gregg Rolie (founding member, lead singer and keyboards for Santana and Journey) checks in with the inside story of one of Santana’s biggest hits “Black Magic Woman” which Gregg sang lead vocals on. You can hear and see him sing the classic tune on his forthcoming live DVD- more on that later, but right now here is Gregg with the story behind “Black Magic Woman”:

Black Magic Woman is still one my favorite songs to sing and perform even after almost 40 years. It took me about a year to convince the band that we should do this song. It was one I had a passion for and I knew I could sing it. Some songs are made for you and other songs you just sing. This one was made for me. A little known fact is that Mike Shrieve (drummer for Santana) turned me on to Black Magic Woman. He knew I was a big Peter Green fan from his involvement with John Mayall’s Blues Breakers where Peter took Eric Clapton’s place as the lead guitarist and played on the album “Hard Road”. Mike gave me the Fleetwood Mac album with lead guitarist Peter Green and I found Black Magic Woman penned by Peter. It became a #4 Hit for Santana and one of the most recognizable Santana songs for decades to follow. I’m sure glad Mike gave it to me.

Now about that DVD. Here is the official announcement: You’ve heard his voice and keyboards on such classic Santana hits as “Black Magic Woman”, “Evil Ways”, “No One To Depend On”, “Everybody’s Everything” and “Oye Como Va”, now legendary Santana / Journey founding member, and Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Gregg Rolie is preparing to release a DVD of his band in concert at the Sturgis Motorcycle Ralley in 2007. Shot with 17 cameras, the Gregg Rolie Band whip up an exciting memorable performance featuring all the beloved Santana hits, as well as tracks from his 2001 critically acclaimed solo CD ‘Roots’.

Along with preparations for the new DVD release, Gregg Rolie will be featured on the PBS special Trini Lopez Presents The Legends of Latin Music. Filmed at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles last October, the program will be aired in March 2009.

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, this year Warner Home Video’s will be releasing a Blu-ray and DVD Ultimate Collector’s Edition with high definition picture and sound of ‘Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music’, which will also feature two hours of bonus material, some of it newly-discovered. Much to th e elation of fans worldwide, extra footage of Santana’s historic Woodstock performance will be included. Held at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas on Saturday March 23, along with Santana alumni Michael Shrieve, Gregg will reside on a discussion panel of performers, filmakers and key technicians who helped create the timeless music classic and Oscar winning ‘Best Documentary’ Woodstock.

“The first time I played with Gregg everything just clicked. In a humble way, it was very much like McCartney and Lennon. You know when there’s chemistry there. Drummers came and went; congeros came and went, but his feeling and my feeling…sometimes it was hard to tell who was the needle and who was the thread.” Carlos Santana

Gregg Rolie is responsible for co-founding two phenomenally popular, multi-platinum super groups – Santana and Journey. In 1998, the world class keyboardist/vocalist/producer was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame as part of the original Santana band. Formed in San Francisco in 1969, the multi-cultural ensemble produced three groundbreaking hit albums which yeilded several FM staples. “There’s one unique ability of the band,” Gregg told music critic Ben Fong-Torres, “and that was that it created music that there is no name for… Santana’s music is such a jell of different material that there just is no name for it, and there’s no one that plays it like Santana does.” Departing after the pioneering jazz fusion offering ‘Caravansarai’ in 1972, both band members Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon went on to form quintessential 1980s hit-makers Journey. After co-writing and producing the band’s first 7 albums, along with constant touring, Gregg decided to leave Journey once the hugely successful 1981 live double LP ‘Captured’ was issued. During the ’80s Rolie wrote, produced and played on the Santana albums ‘Shango’ and ‘Freedom’, and released his debut, self-titled 1985 solo album and its 1987 follow-up ‘Gringo’, before co-founding the all-new Journey-esque rock group The Storm at the tail end of the decade. The Storm released two albums: ’92′s eponymous disc that yielded the #13 Billboard Hot 100 hit “I’ve Got A Lot To Learn About Love” and ’96′s ‘Eye Of the Storm’. That same year, Rolie, along with five other original Santana members, formed Abraxas Pool, a spirited collaboration that resulted in the 1997 critically acclaimed album of the same name.

Thirty-five years after Gregg and Carlos met in San Francisco, 2001 marked the release of Rolie’s third solo album ‘Roots’. The first-ever release on Bay-Area based Tower Records’ new proprietary label 33rd Street, ‘Roots’ finds Gregg revisiting the incredible brew of sounds he helped conjure up in the late 60′s. Rolie calls Roots’ twelve original selections “Latin rock plus”; the instrumentation is Latin percussion, with organ, guitar, horns, and lots of great solo work and songwriting”, adding that “I really wanted to go all the way back to my Santana roots”.

The Gregg Rolie Band consists of founding Santana member Michael Carabello on Congas, Adrian Areas (son of original Santana percussionist Jose Chepi to Areas) on Timbales, drummer Ron Wikso (who was also in The Storm), Kurt Griffey on guitars, internationally acclaimed bassist, Chapman Stick artist and Santana alumni Alphonso Johnson and former Jean Luc Ponty keyboardist Wally Minko. “If you are having a good time at anything you do, you are going to do a good job at what you do,” Gregg recently told music critic Jim Harrington. “That’s really where the key to this band is. We really just enjoy each other a tremendous amount and have a lot of fun with this. We will get up to playing about 50 dates a year, and really that’s about all I want to do.” The Gregg Rolie Band will be performing throughout 2009 with tour dates listed on his official website.

For more information: www.GreggRolie.com


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