Carlos Santana
Roberto Finizio

It is highly likely that the guitar gods will smite me down, but when someone mentions Santana, my brain immediately turns to 1999 stone-cold classic “Smooth” featuring Rob Thomas. I know that Carlos Santana is a genre-bending guitar maestro. I know that he came to prominence in the California jam band scene and is one of the most well-respected guitarists in music history, pioneering the Latin fusion sound now synonymous with his name. I get it.

Nonetheless, if you start talking to me about Carlos Santana, the most likely outcome is that I cut you off mid-sentence with some variation of “GIMME YOUR HEART, MAKE IT REAL OR ELSE FORGET ABOUT IT” until you stop talking about Carlos Santana.


The album that “Smooth” anchors is called Supernatural, and it is a fascinating cultural artifact. It essentially alternates between impressive instrumental Latin fusion guitar flexes and poorly-aged vocal guests such as the aforementioned Rob Thomas, Dave Matthews, Cee-lo Green and Lauryn Hill (!!) on the same song, Everlast, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hopeful Eagle Eye Cherry.

Is it likely that all of those musicians accompany Santana for a 2019 concert at the Walmart AMP in Rogers, Arkansas? No, but it’s possible. Get tickets to the concert, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m., here.