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Salvador Santana's New Take on the Santana Gem 'Evil Ways' Opens the CD A Song For My Father

February 26, 2007
World Music Central

San Francisco (California), USA - Salvador Santana's fresh spin on the classic Santana hit "Evil Ways" is the album-opening track on the disc A Song For My Father, a compilation of acclaimed young music artists recreating timeless tunes originally made famous by their legendary musical fathers. Set for release on February 27, the unique CD is one of the inaugural releases comprising the nationwide launch of the Spotlight Music Series, a new line of titles from 180 Music that will be exclusively available at the Target retail chain.

As recorded by Carlos Santana and the Santana Band, "Evil Ways" was a Top 10 single in 1969, a highlight of their self-titled debut LP, Santana, that year. When Salvador Santana was asked to contribute to A Song For My Father, it was one of several choices suggested for the project. "It jumped out at me right away," says Salvador, "it hadn't been used as much as the others being considered. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to flip the script on everybody."

Working with producer Oliver Lieberman, Salvador Santana Band (SSB) mate José Espinoza (formerly of Ozomatli) and Santana's Andy Vargas, Salvador says, "Rather than totally reinvent the song, I wanted to honor the classic aspect of what my dad did, but update it to 2007. We worked with that vibe, and did it to sound like what people listen to today, a little bit of Black Eyed Peas, Gnarls Barkley, those sounds are mixed in. I wanted to take advantage of the new tech side of things, but it's still all about feeling a live band, there's magic going on with that."

Others paying musical tribute on A Song For My Father include Devon Allman, Louise Goffin, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Ky-Mani Marley, Ivan Neville, Ben Taylor and Wendy & Carnie Wilson, among others.

Featuring Salvador on keyboards and vocals, the San Francisco-based SSB formed in 2004, and the group has toured both domestically and in Europe opening for Santana and at smaller venues nationwide as a headliner. SSB's vibrant, soulful fusion of hip-hop, jazz, rock, Latin, world music and more is featured on the 5-song EP Demo, and Salvador is currently developing material for their full-length album debut, due out later this year. He has been co-writing songs with Santana's Andy Vargas and Asdru Sierra of Ozomatli, and will co-produce the project with producer, mixer and former Cypress Hill collaborator Jason Roberts.

Salvador can also be heard on music that he and his father created for the audio book version of his mother Deborah Santana's acclaimed memoir Space Between The Stars: My Journey To An Open Heart. Previously, Salvador and Carlos collaborated on the GRAMMY-winning "El Farol" for the smash Santana album Supernatural and "Open Up Your Eyes," a song for the compilation CD Food For Thought, benefiting the Milagro Foundation, established by Carlos and Deborah Santana in 1998. Milagro has granted over $2 million to non-profit organizations supporting children and youth in areas of health, education and the arts.