It looks like some of the shows will be at major festivals, like Germany’s massive Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park.

The band, led by namesake Carlos Santana, have taken a break from the road this year to work on a new album, which will be released sometime in 2002.

Carlos did manage to escape from the recording studio long enough for one live performance; he joined Widespread Panic onstage for their October 14 show at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, Calif. He rocked out with the band for close to 45 minutes and even hopped on the drum kit for a percussion jam.

There’s no word on any official U.S. gigs for Santana (the band or the man). The gracious guitarist was ubiquitous at award shows and special events for more than a year after the band’s 1999 release, Supernatural, turned into a comback phenomenon. But Carlos seems to have returned to his usual low-key habits in 2001.

Following Supernatural, which catapulted the group out of the classic rock category and back into the spotlight, the new album will face some big expectations. The album won the group a whopping eight Grammy Awards and has sold more than 21 million copies worldwide.

The accompanying tour matched the album in success and popularity. The Santana/Mana outing (with show-stopper Ozomatli in the support slot) earned the No. 31 spot on Pollstar’s 1999 Top 100 Tours chart on the merits of a mere 27 reasonably priced shows. Most bands would have to charge a lot more or play twice as many gigs to generate $11.2 million. But what the band lacked in ticket price, they made up for in number of fans served.

Throughout their three-decade-plus career, Santana, which tours constantly, generally played facilities seating around 5,000. But, upon the release of their now smash-hit Supernatural album, they were soon playing to 15,000-25,000 fans per show (and more) as they hit arenas and even some stadiums around North America.