Despite their geographical disparity, Carlos Santana and Steve Winwood hold quite a bit in common. When Santana gained fame in San Francisco during the Summer of Love and Winwood built his reputation in the beat clubs of Birmingham, England, both men pursued a similar muse in the blues. Santana's searing version of Peter Green's "Black Magic Woman" served as his calling card early on, while Winwood traveled in the opposite direction to echo black American blues with the Spencer Davis Group. However, they eventually returned to their roots to capture a key element for their signature sounds. The early Santana bands tapped their Latino culture to forge a groundbreaking style of freewheeling rock and rhythm, just as Winwood retreated to the English countryside to fuse folk music and psychedelia in the inventive outfit he came to call Traffic.
Likewise, each had a hand in steering the progressive music that dominated FM in the late '60s and early '70s. Later, they both opted for solo stardom. Carlos shed his namesake outfit and turned to more meditative material, while Winwood rebuked the superstardom that dogged his post-Traffic outfit, Blind Faith. Each man temporarily resurrected his respective outfit, but today, each soldiers on alone — although this tour finds them sharing the stage. Both employ a soulful blend of commercially viable pop, rhythm, and blues that creates a common cultural connection for the listener.