Carlos Santana has collaborated with his wife, Santana drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, on a cover of John Lennon‘s “Imagine” that’s been released as a part of the new SongAid campaign benefiting the WhyHunger charity’s Rapid Response Fund.
The track also will appear on Cindy’s upcoming solo album, Give the Drummer Some, due out on September 18.
The Santanas’ heavy-hitting “Imagine” cover features Cindy on lead vocals and drums, and an incendiary guitar solo by Carlos.
Carlos tells ABC Audio that in preparing his solo, “it felt like I could dive into AC/DC…Led Zeppelin…Hendrix…Cream…Jeff Beck [or] Buddy Guy. For me, as a guitar player, it was a supreme open invitation to just…tear it up, come in with claws and teeth and be…unapologetic about it.”
Cindy says the idea to cover “Imagine” came about while she was making her new album, and producer Narada Michael Walden — who worked on seven tracks — asked her, “If you were gonna do a cover, what song would it be?”
“‘Imagine’ was my number-one choice,” she reveals to ABC Audio. Cindy adds that she told Walden, “I don’t want to do it the same way everyone does it all the time. I’d like to do…maybe like a funk-rock version or something else.”
Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, heard Cindy and Carlos’ “Imagine” cover and gave it a thumbs-up.
“[W]e’re completely honored that she’s behind this song, and that she digs it,” Cindy tells ABC Audio.
The track is included on a SongAid playlist that’s available now digitally and via various streaming music services.
As for Give the Drummer Some, the album features Carlos on eight songs, as well as contributions from Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett, Living Colour‘s Vernon Reid, jazz-fusion great John McLaughlin and others.
By Matt Friedlander
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