Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Gregg Rolie, co-founder of two multi-platinum super groups, Santana and Journey, and the voice of such timeless classics as “Black Magic Woman” and ‘Evil Ways’, has released new solo EP, ‘Five Days’. A personal and intimate reworking of Santana and Journey classics as well as Gregg’s own compositions through solo voice and piano, ‘Five Days’ was recorded in the living room of his Central Texas home on the piano given to him by his father in the early days of Santana. “It’s from my house to yours,” says Gregg, whose new EP includes the songs “Black Magic Woman”, “Anytime”, “Love Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”, “If I Went Home”, “Trouble In Mind” and “Cool Little Mama”.
Gregg Rolie makes his first-ever solo appearance, Saturday March 5th at 9:00 pm on the grand piano in the lobby bar of The Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. This special performance is in celebration of his new solo EP, “Five Days”. Gregg, along with his special guest, blues guitarist Alan Haynes, will be playing selections from the new EP along with many old favorites. He’ll share stores from his 40-plus year career and answer questions from the audience during the show. Afterwards, Gregg will be on hand for pictures and autographs. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public.
Gregg Rolie is responsible for co-founding two phenomenally popular, multi-platinum super groups – Santana and Journey. In 1998, the world class keyboardist/vocalist/producer was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame as part of the original Santana band. Formed in San Francisco in 1969, the multi-cultural ensemble produced three groundbreaking hit albums which yeilded several FM staples. You’ve heard Gregg’s voice and keyboards on such classic Santana hits as “Black Magic Woman”, “Evil Ways”, “No One To Depend On”, “Everybody’s Everything” and “Oye Como Va”. “There’s one unique ability of the band,” Gregg told music critic Ben Fong-Torres, “and that was that it created music that there is no name for… Santana’s music is such a jell of different material that there just is no name for it.”
Departing after the pioneering jazz fusion offering ‘Caravansarai’ in 1972, both band members Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon went on to form quintessential 1980s hit-makers Journey. After co-writing and producing the band’s first 7 albums, along with constant touring, Gregg decided to leave Journey once the hugely successful 1981 live double LP ‘Captured’ was issued. During the ’80s Rolie wrote, produced and played on the Santana albums ‘Shango’ and ‘Freedom’, and released his debut, self-titled 1985 solo album and its 1987 follow-up ‘Gringo’, before co-founding the all-new Journey-esque rock group The Storm at the tail end of the decade. The Storm released two albums: ‘92’s eponymous disc that yielded the #13 Billboard Hot 100 hit “I’ve Got A Lot To Learn About Love” and ‘96’s ‘Eye Of the Storm’. That same year, Rolie, along with five other original Santana members, formed Abraxas Pool, a spirited collaboration that resulted in the 1997 critically acclaimed album of the same name.
Thirty-five years after Gregg and Carlos met in San Francisco, 2001 marked the release of Rolie’s third solo album ‘Roots’. The first-ever release on Bay-Area based Tower Records’ new proprietary label 33rd Street, ‘Roots’ finds Gregg revisiting the incredible brew of sounds he helped conjure up in the late 60’s. Rolie calls Roots’ twelve original selections “Latin rock plus”; the instrumentation is Latin percussion, with organ, guitar, horns, and lots of great solo work and songwriting”, adding that “I really wanted to go all the way back to my Santana roots”.
Formed in 2006, the Gregg Rolie Band consists of Adrian Areas (son of original Santana percussionist Jose Chepito Areas) on Timbales, drummer Ron Wikso (who was also in The Storm), Rocket Ritchotte on guitars, internationally acclaimed bassist Gary Brown, percussionist Elliot “Toby” Borrero and former Jean Luc Ponty keyboardist Wally Minko. Last year, Gregg caused a flurry of excitement amongst the music press with the release of his latest CD ‘Rain Dance”. This live CD captures Gregg and his all-star band performing at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 2007. The music press and fans alike have been raving about the new CD and have even compared Rolie’s band to that of the original Santana group, in which Rolie was a founding member.
Gregg Rolie’s ‘Five Days’ EP can be purchased at http://www.bitvibe.com/products/gregg-rolie-five-days-cd