Santana at Hard Rock Live Hollywood August 24

Perhaps it's the instability and unpredictability of our nightmarish economy, though that's highly unlikely. Or maybe it's his unprecedented drive to bring Afro-Latin blues to mainstream America. But whatever the reason, we're extremely happy that Carlos Santana didn't hang it up earlier this year when he turned 65 years old — i.e., retirement age.

Instead, this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and guitar virtuoso released a new album, Shape Shifter, and signed up for a two-year residency at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay Las Vegas. Retirement was clearly not an option.

"A lot of people said to me: 'Enough with the guest vocalists for a while,'" Santana admitted in an interview with Guitar World earlier this year. "'We want to hear the Mexican play the guitar!'"

He obliged, producing Shape Shifter, an entirely instrumental effort. And while there are plenty of fabulous musicians on the album, it's obviously those classic Santana licks that make the sexagenarian's latest slab so inspiring.

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Victor Gonzalez
Contact: Victor Gonzalez

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