Title: “The Woodstock Experience”
Label: Sony Legacy
Release Date: 6/30/2009
In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival, Sony Legacy has released a number of special recordings under the title of “The Woodstock Experience”. While available as a limited edition boxed set, the five recordings are also available separately. Each comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard slipcase that houses the album that the artist had released or been supporting at that time in 1969 along with a second CD that features their full Woodstock Festival performance. They are placed in mini-album covers and where the original album is a complete replica, the Woodstock set offers historical liner notes about the gig. It also features a poster of the artist that was taken at the show. The five releases present Johnny Winter, Santana, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and Sly & The Family Stone. As we did not have the limited edition box set we are instead offering up views on the releases on a one by one basis. Here are our thoughts on the “Santana: The Woodstock Experience” CD.
“Santana” – Santana’s self-titled debut album was a really interesting point in music history as it bridged the gap between soulful Latin styles and Progressive Rock music while managing to keep you interested in its groove with melody after melody. The stunning guitar wizardry of Carlos Santana and Neil Schon combined with the powerhouse drumming of Michael Shrieve made this a powerful Rock combo in and of itself but when you added in the likes of Chepito and Michael Carabello on timbales and congas, the unmistakable Latin flair just hooked you in and kept you. When you consider how the rich Hammond organ sound and vocals from Gregg Rolie were there as well you knew that the output was just going to be magic. This debut album from the band had only just come out after their appearance at the legendary Woodstock Festival and there are no less than five numbers on it that were played at the show. Most of the release is instrumental in base, but there are bona fide classics among these such as “Evil Ways”, “Jingo” and “You Just Don’t Care”. It’s one of those amazing places to start ones adventure into a bands material as many of these songs are still played in concert today by Santana and the other members of his band that have long gone their separate ways.
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