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Santana & Journey keyboardist Gregg Rolie releases first new studio album in 18 years

Megaforce Records
Megaforce Records

Keyboardist Gregg Rolie, founding member and original lead singer of both Santana and Journey, has finally gotten around to making a new solo album.  It only took him 18 years.

The project, Sonic Ranch, is now available at Amazon and iTunes, and as you might imagine, it features plenty of guest appearances, including his former Santana band mate Michael Shrieve on drums, Journey‘s Neal Schon and Toto‘s Steve Lukather on guitar.  Rolie’s son Sean also plays guitar on the album, and he produced most of it as well.

As for why the album took so long, Rolie explains that being a member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band, and participating in the Santana reunion album cut into his schedule.

“I’ve been writing songs over the years, and we recorded half of them by 2013,” he says. “Then I got busy touring with Ringo, and I took part in the Santana reunion, Santana IV. Everything took time. Finally, when Santana IV was done, I could get back to finishing the record.”

Ringo’s influence can be found on the album’s first single, “What About Love.” 

“The song is inspired by Ringo Starr and his message of peace and love,” Rolie explains. “I had started writing it, and I would play around with it at soundchecks with Ringo. It sounded really good, so I took it home, found the bass line, and Sean produced and engineered it.”

Sonic Ranch also includes a gospel reworking of Elvis Presley‘s “Don’t Be Cruel,” as well as a remake of the 1976 Journey song “Look Into the Future.

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