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The mash-up seem to be a big trend on the 2014 concert tour scene. Sting & Paul Simon; Journey & The Steve Miller Band, Motley Crue & Alice Cooper, Rihanna & Eminem... The latest (some say unlikely) duo to announce they'll be serving up a rock and roll combo plate is Rod Stewart and Carlos Santana. At first, I was having a hard time imagining the pairing. I like both. A lot. But "Rod the Mod" and "C-Smooth?" I tried to imagine the two together, and failed.

A co-worker suggested that they might be playing separately; on tour together but not on stage together. I perused their websites and various announcements and press releases. Nothing actually used the words "on stage together," but Ultimate Classic Rock quoted their publicist as saying they decided to tour because of "their combined love of rock, soul, world rhythms, funk, jazz and blues." This made me think they're going to perform together.

And, now that I've gotten used to the idea, I certainly hope so.

Carlos Santana and Rod Stewart: Like Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter and Hot Pepper Jelly

Carlos Santana has a new album coming out tomorrow, entitled Corazón. It's being described as his "first Latin music album," which made me have to stop and think about the music I've loved over the years. I've always been acutely aware of the Latin rhythms present in so-called rock-and-roll songs. From early hits like "Evil Ways" (1969) and "Black Magic Woman" (1970), to 1999's "Smooth," Carlos Santana has always invoked more cha-cha than head-banging. And, other than the fact that the lyrics are in Spanish or Portuguese, the few tracks on Corazón that have been released are no less rock than what we've come to expect from Santana over the years. With one possible exception: "Saideira," which translates to "Nightcap," featuring Samuel Rosa of the Latin Grammy-winning Brazilian rock band Skank. It's a fun song, but I prefer "La Flaca," where the combination of Columbian superstar Juanes' performance, the sexy samba beat and Santana's scorching riffs take me to a happy, happy place.

Source: YouTube Santana - La Flaca ft. Juanes 2014

While it's hard to imagine Rod Stewart singing in Spanish, I wouldn't put it past him. He's reinvented himself more times than any artist except, possibly, Madonna. It was a long way from "Maggie May" in 1971 to "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" in 1978, but Rod managed to insert himself into the disco era while still maintaining his rock and roll roots. In recent years, he's become better knows for his forays into the Great American Songbook, crooning Gershwin, Bobby Darin, and Sinatra with equal aplomb. My favorite Rod Stewart song will probably always be "People Get Ready" with Jeff Beck, which is yet another cover--the original was recorded by The Impressions in 1965.

Source: YouTube Jeff Beck;Rod Stewart - People Get Ready 2013

Stewart is so good at covers (not quite challenging the master: Joe Cocker) that his career has become increasingly all about them. So, will we hear him sing "Smooth?" I predict that we will.


Rod Stewart and Santana 2014 Tour Schedule

Friday, May 23rd    Albany, NY
Sunday, May 25th    Uncasville, CT
Tuesday, May 27th    Pittsburgh, PA
Saturday, May 31st    Buffalo, NY
Tuesday, June 3rd    Louisville, KY
Friday, June 6th    St. Louis, MO
Saturday, June 7th    Lincoln, NE
Saturday, June 21st    Grangemouth, Falkirk
Thursday, July 31st    Eugene, OR
Saturday, August 2nd    Vancouver, BC
Monday, August 4th    Calgary, AB
Tuesday, August 5th    Edmonton, AB
Friday, August 8th    Winnipeg, MB
Sunday, August 10th    Saint Paul, MN
Tuesday, August 12th    Denver, CO
Thursday, August 14th    Kansas City, MO
Saturday, August 16th    Rosemont, IL
Tuesday, August 19th    Washington, DC
Wednesday, August 20th    Wantaugh, NY

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