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Interview: In Defense of Santana’s “Smooth” (ft. Rob Thomas)

O n June 2, St. Louis-based musician Matt Basler, alongside a band assembled for the occasion, performed “Smooth” by Santana (ft. Rob Thomas) 10 times in a row (12, if you count the encore). Taking the stage at Off Broadway, a popular local venue that’s hosted the likes of Jonathan Richman, Angel Olsen, Sunset Rubdown, and The Hold Steady, Basler played an almost-sold-out show that inspired a joyful sing-along dance party from fans who attended, but evoked ambivalence and derision from news sites like Stereogum and A.
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