Carlos Santana Promises Guest-Packed, Vibrant New Album

Guitarist won't divulge his collaborators, but says Supernatural guests won't likely return.

Carlos Santana’s follow-up to the hugely successful Supernatural will again feature an abundance of guest musicians, but that’s about all the legendary guitarist will divulge.

“I can’t tell you who or it won’t be a surprise,” Santana said at Clive Davis’ Grammy Eve party (Click
here for photos .)
. He did reveal, however, that none of the collaborators on his last album — which included Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas, Everlast and Dave Matthews, among others — have contributed to the still-untitled new album, which is about 80 percent complete. “But they might come around,” he added.

Davis, who first signed Santana three decades ago and orchestrated his comeback at the turn of the century, is working with the guitarist and his namesake band on their upcoming recording, which Santana called “more vital” than Supernatural.

“It has rhythm and melody and a lot of colors and is more vibrant than the other one,” Santana said. “It’s just more fun.”

Following up an album that won nine Grammys (see “Carlos Santana and J. Lo’s Dress Reign Supreme: Grammy Flashback 2000″ ) and scored several hits (most notably “Smooth” and “Maria Maria”) might put pressure on some artists, but not Santana.

“I make it a point to clear the table and play the guitar like I have never played it before,” he said. “I strip my mind from that stuff. It’s just fun to have another opportunity.”

A year ago, Santana announced he wanted to “dismantle violence” with his follow-up to Supernatural (see “Santana Hopes To Release Supernatural Follow-Up In Fall” ). Of course, after September 11, he has felt an even stronger need to make peaceful music.

“There’s a saying for women that when the water breaks, the baby’s got to come out,” Santana said. “And the water broke [on September 11], and all of us get to usher in a new baby. It’s called unity and harmony. That’s the new baby, and all of us get to nurture it.

“I’m really happy I am living in this time,” he added. “We get to enter a place where flags and politics and religion is not going to be important anymore. We can’t go back, we have to go forward. Even though it was tragic and people gave their lives, it is the beginning of a whole new world living in harmony and unity.”

Santana will launch a nine-date American tour in Tampa, Florida, on March 21. A European tour will follow and head into midsummer, when Santana hopes to release his album and return to the States for a more complete tour.

Santana tour dates, according to his spokesperson:

  • 3/21 – Tampa, FL @ Ice Palace

  • 3/22 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Mars Music Amphitheater

  • 3/23 – Orlando, FL @ TD Waterhouse Centre

  • 3/25 – Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena

  • 3/27 – Greenville, SC @ Bi-Lo Center

  • 3/29 – Raleigh, NC @ Entertainment & Sports Arena

  • 3/30 – Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Coliseum

  • 4/1 – Washington, DC @ MCI Center

  • 4/2- Hampton, VA @ Hampton Coliseum