August 23, 2012
Son of guitar legend brings act to B Ryder’s Saturday
When your father is one of the most iconic guitarists in the history of rock ’n’ roll, there are almost certain expectations from the musical public.
In the case of Salvador Santana, son of Latin rock icon Carlos Santana, it’s a reality he’s become accustomed to addressing every time he steps onstage.
But while the 29-year-old keyboardist and vocalist carries the spirit of his family’s legacy in his music, don’t expect a tribute to famous father’s illustrious career when he appears with his band Saturday at B Ryder’s.
“I’m the type of person that’s more honored and grateful for the lineage and the history that comes with representing this last name and the lineage, on both sides of my family,” said Salvador Santana during a recent phone interview from his home in Los Angeles.
Father and son: Salvador and Carlos Santana
“Both of my grandfathers were also musicians,” he said, referring to maternal grandfather Saunders King, a blues pioneer, and paternal grandfather Jose Santana, celebrated violinist and mariachi bandleader. “Both my mother and father have always said that whatever I choose to do with my life, that I never forget who I am and where I come from, and give it my all. And I never forgot that, and it’s allowed me to stay humble in most situations and enjoy it. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey and how you get there.”
Currently touring in support of his latest single, “Into The Light,” both of Santana’s previous full-length releases showcase an artist whose California hip-hop, funk and rock roots are sonically visible.
“When I was growing up, having the honor and opportunity to grow up in the San Francisco Bay area, it’s so multicultural and so diverse out there, especially musically and in the arts. I really was kind of influenced by my surroundings. The debut record ‘SSB’ is very festive, hip-hop and very Bay Area. My second record, ‘Keyboard City,’ working with producer Money Mark of the Beastie Boys, was all about exchanging ideas. Now with ‘Into The Light,’ it has that conscious hip-hop sound. You can listen and nod your head or take the time and listen to the lyrics.”
Santana says his decision to hit the promotional trail with a single rather than another full-length CD is a strategy he’s formulated after a few years observing the listening habits of today’s overly tech-savvy music fan.
“Right now, even though I’m 29 and considered part of the youth, I still got some old school in me where I’m the type of person where I can listen to an entire album if it’s good. I would prefer that, but I understand that the majority of the listeners don’t have quite the same type of attention span we collectively used to have. However that has evolved, it is what is. I keep my ear to the street.”
The lyrically conscious vibe of “Into The Light” is accentuated by the accompanying music video that also features vocalist and keyboardist Alex Nester. Comparable to the Black Eyed Peas’ “Where is the Love?,” the song is full of hope and urgency, but sans any Fergie-licious sweetness.
Above: A scene from the vidoe for Santana's single, "Into The Light," featuring Alex Nester.
“I want it to showcase what’s happening currently: the wars in the Middle East and around the world, juxtaposed, but also displaying the similarities and the parallels of the wars happening in the streets in the main cities in America. Yes, as a human race we’ve been on this planet for a long time, but look how far we’ve come and look how much further we have to go. It’s come off very dark and emotional, but the message is really — in a world full of darkness, let’s focus on the light.”
Joining Santana and Nester onstage will be guitarist Jared Meeker, drummer Blake Collie and Itai Shapira on bass.
Above: Santana performs
“I try to incorporate the past, present and future with our live shows. If somebody can’t get into the funk number we open with, then maybe they’ll gravitate towards the ballads. We don’t leave anyone out.”
And just how well-versed is he on the rich musical history of his father and uncle guitarist Jorge Santana, who also had success in the ’70s with the band Malo? It’s a question he’s almost embarrassingly apprehensive to answer.
“Because of all the hard-core Santana and Malo fans out there, I feel like I don’t have to take the time to study all that stuff, even though I should just in case I’m on an episode of ‘Pawn Stars’ or something and, ‘Oh, let me call Santana’s son, he would know something about this.’”
Saturday’s showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Ages 18 and over admitted. Also appearing Mento Buru and the Natural Movement. B Ryder’s is located at 7401 White Lane. For more information, call 661-397-7304.
Outside Lands wins again
Punctuating the sweltering Central Valley heat with a trip to a cooler climate is a necessary part of living in Bakersfield. If you are a foodie or music lover, it can be tough finding the right escape to fit the lifestyle. Next year, while your neighbors head to Pismo Beach with trailers in tow, pack your hoodies and boots and head north. San Francisco offers a three-day experience in Golden Gate Park the second weekend of every August that continues putting all other California festivals to shame.
Outside Lands on 8-12. Photo by Matt Munoz
The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, held this year from Aug. 10 to 12, is a feast for the senses. From chart-topping headlining acts to craft beers and gourmet food trucks the 65,000-attendee party in the park has something for everyone. This year’s event featured a trio of rock legends taking their turn closing out the show from the main stage each night. Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Metallica and the great Stevie Wonder wowed the crowd while stars like Jack White, Foo Fighters and Norah Jones entertained hordes of wildly enthusiastic attendees during earlier sets.
Above: Stevie Wonder performs at Outside Lands on 8-12. Photo by Matt Munoz
Drinks flowed from two separate gardens with Winelands featuring dozens of California vintages and Beerlands offering the same diversity for fans of the brews. This year organizers took their fetish for gourmet food trucks a step further adding an area called Outside Lambs to the robust lineup of eateries on wheels. Among vendors offering garlic chimichurri French fries and falafel “snow cones,” diners could pick from a menu of dishes featuring organic lamb as a main ingredient. Putine with lamb gravy, gyros and a curried lamb stew with garbanzo beans, and a touch of coconut milk, warmed the bellies of festival-goers donning scarves and sweaters to ward off the misty chill of the Bay Area.
Above from left: Jack White, Nora Jones both performed at this year's Outside Lands festival on 8-12. Photos by Matt Munoz
Outside Lands is an event for those committed to having a good time. So find a hotel or apartment for rent near the Civic Center in downtown San Francisco, get your tickets for the park shuttle in advance and bundle up. Outside Lands is not for the faint of heart or light of stomach. But it is a guaranteed good time. CLICK HERE to check out photos from this year's Outside Lands!
Outside Lands official website
Matt's Picks: August 25th
Grand opening of The Hub, 401 Sumner St., all day Saturday. 661-873-4977. Bakersfield’s champion of all things healthy and artistic, Amber Beeson has once again organized quite the cool event to celebrate the official grand opening of The Hub. Operating as both a farmers market and venue for the arts, it’s a colorfully eclectic addition to Old Town Kern with a lot of potential. Doors open at 9 a.m. for patrons to shop for organically grown produce, before live music kicks off at noon with The Bird Channel, Terra Alive, Garage Island and more, followed by a screening of ’70s comedic B movie “Attack of The Killer Tomatoes.” Admission is free during live bands, $10 after 6 p.m. Special “killer” spaghetti dinner is included with admission price. Alcohol will also be served for those 21 and over with ID. The film will start promptly at 9 p.m.
The Mothership DJ Night at Sandrini’s, 1918 Eye St., 10 p.m. Saturday. $5. 661-322-8900. This popular monthly gathering of vinyl junkies and Serato heads, which returns to the underground intimacy of Sandrini’s downtown, is always a blast. In addition to resident house DJs Sabretooth and others, there’s also a special performance by Los Angeles world beat diva Tita Lima (above right,) along with SoulPeople’s Cid Hernandez. Phresh.
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*Also printed in The Bakersfield Californian, 8-23-12