Steve Walsh (musician)

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Steve Walsh
Steve Walsh - Kansas 2012.jpg
Walsh performing in 2012
Background information
Born (1951-06-15) June 15, 1951 (age 71)
St. Louis, Missouri
Origin Atlanta, Georgia
Genres Progressive rock, hard rock
OccupationsMusician, singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards, vibraphone, percussion, harmonica
Years active1974–present

Steve Walsh (born June 15, 1951) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter best known for his work as a longtime member of the progressive rock band Kansas; he retired from the band in 2014. [1] He sings lead on four of Kansas' best-known hits: "Carry On Wayward Son," "Dust in the Wind", "Point of Know Return", and "All I Wanted", the last two of which he co-wrote.



Walsh in 2008 Steve Walsh, Kansas.jpg
Walsh in 2008

Walsh was in a number of local groups prior to his joining Kansas, most notably the group White Clover that later merged with another band to form Kansas. White Clover toured frequently and developed their sound. They merged with another local band, also called Kansas, and were signed to Don Kirshner's label with the name Kansas. [2]

During Walsh's time with the band, Kansas recorded two commercially successful albums, 1976's Leftoverture and 1977's Point of Know Return . With Kansas, Walsh has released 12 studio albums, six live albums, and numerous singles. He has released three solo albums thus far. In 1978 he was invited, along with Kansas drummer Phil Ehart, to play on Steve Hackett's second solo album Please Don't Touch . He sang on two of the LP's songs, "Narnia" and "Racing in A". Hackett released "Narnia" as a single, but not before Walsh's management insisted that Hackett re-cut the track with another vocalist so as not to confuse Kansas fans into believing the track was a new Kansas release.[ citation needed ] John Perry sang the "Narnia" vocal for the single release version. [3]

Walsh left Kansas after 1980's Audio-Visions due to creative differences with the band's primary songwriter Kerry Livgren. [2] Earlier in 1980, he released his first solo album, Schemer-Dreamer , which included bandmates Livgren, Rich Williams and Phil Ehart, as well as guitarist Steve Morse (who in 1985 joined the revamped Kansas). It contains the song "Every Step of the Way". In 1982 he formed a rock band called Streets with guitarist Mike Slamer, which released the albums 1st in 1983 and Crimes in Mind in 1985 before disbanding. [4]

As a guest vocalist, Walsh has appeared on numerous other artists' recordings.[ which? ]

Kansas replaced Walsh with vocalist with John Elefante until their split in 1984, but reformed in 1986 with Walsh as lead singer. [2] He remained with the band until his retirement in 2014.

Walsh released his second solo album Glossolalia in 2000. In 2003 he and Daniele Liverani formed the band Khymera. Walsh sang lead vocals on their first self-titled album. Adding to this album were Billy Greer and former Streets bandmate Mike Slamer. His third solo album Shadowman followed in 2005 (reissued in 2007 with bonus tracks), with the collaboration of Joe Franco on drums, Joel Kosche on guitars and bass, and David Ragsdale on the re-issued version of the album's bonus tracks. [5]

On June 30, 2014, Walsh announced he would retire from Kansas after 41 years. [6]

In 2015 Walsh contributed vocals to the Radioactive album F4UR, which was released on April 7, and he sings lead on the song "The Piper". [7]

In November 2017 Walsh released a collaborative "solo" album between Walsh and Tommy Denander on the Escape Music label, entitled Black Butterfly. [8]






Studio Albums

Live Albums


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kansas (band)</span> American rock band

Kansas is an American rock band that became popular in the 1970s initially on album-oriented rock charts and later with hit singles such as "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind". The band has produced nine gold albums, three multi-platinum albums, one other platinum studio album (Monolith), one platinum live double album, and a million-selling single, "Dust in the Wind". Kansas appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the 1970s and 1980s and played to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe and Japan. "Carry On Wayward Son" was the second-most-played track on US classic rock radio in 1995 and No. 1 in 1997.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kerry Livgren</span> American guitarist (born 1949)

Kerry Allen Livgren is an American musician, best known as one of the founding members and primary songwriters for the American rock band Kansas.

<i>Masque</i> (Kansas album) 1975 studio album by Kansas

Masque is the third studio album by American progressive rock band Kansas. The album was released on September 20, 1975, remastered for CD in 2001, and again remastered and reissued on vinyl in 2014. The opening track, "It Takes a Woman's Love ", was remixed for release as a single but was not popular, including additional guest vocals and segments far different from the album version.

<i>Leftoverture</i> 1976 studio album by Kansas

Leftoverture is the fourth studio album by American rock band Kansas, released in 1976. The album was reissued in remastered format on CD in 2001. It was the band's first album to be certified by the RIAA, and remains their highest selling album, having been certified 5 times platinum in the United States.

<i>Audio-Visions</i> 1980 studio album by Kansas

Audio-Visions is the seventh studio album by American progressive rock band Kansas, released in 1980. The album was reissued in remastered format on CD in 1996 on Legacy/Epic and again in 2011, as a Japanese import vinyl-replica CD, as well as part of the Sony/Legacy domestic boxed set, Kansas Complete Album Collection 1974-1983, which packages all of the band's original releases on Kirshner and affiliated labels CBS/Columbia.

<i>Somewhere to Elsewhere</i> 2000 studio album by Kansas

Somewhere to Elsewhere is the fourteenth studio album by American rock band Kansas, released in 2000. This album marks the reunion of the band's original 1970s lineup since 1980's Audio-Visions, along with Billy Greer, who joined Kansas with Power. Steve Walsh, in what proved to be his last studio album with the band before his departure in 2014, tracked vocals in his home studio while working on his second solo album Glossolalia and did not join the rest of the band at Kerry Livgren's studio. His contribution were solely vocals. Livgren composed all of the album's tracks, and sang on the hidden track "Geodesic Dome". The album is the last one to feature Robby Steinhardt before his death in 2021.

AD was a 1980s Christian rock band, featuring former Kansas members Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope (bass), former Bloodrock member Warren Ham, who had toured as a sideman with Kansas in 1982, Michael Gleason, who had replaced Ham as a touring member of Kansas in 1983, and Dennis Holt (drums).

<i>The Best of Kansas</i> 1984 greatest hits album by Kansas

The Best of Kansas is the first compilation album from the American progressive rock band Kansas. It was originally released in 1984, and featured one new track, "Perfect Lover," written by then-lead vocalist John Elefante and his brother Dino Elefante. The compilation was re-released in 1999 in a version supervised by the original band members. "Perfect Lover" was dropped in favor of three additional tracks from the original lineup. Added were "The Pinnacle" from Masque, "The Devil Game" from Song for America, and a live track deleted because of space limitations from the CD version of Two for the Show called "Closet Chronicles," originally from Point of Know Return. The album has sold over 4 million copies in the United States and was certified quadruple platinum in 2001.

<i>King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas</i> 1998 live album by Kansas

King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas is the third live album from American rock band Kansas, released in 1998. In 2003, the album was re-titled and re-released as Greatest Hits Live. It was also released in the DVD-Audio format as From the Front Row Live, but the 5.1 mix for this series was not of particularly high quality. The original performance included 2 tracks not included in this release: "Play the Game Tonight" and a cover of "Born to Be Wild." The liner notes include an extensive essay describing this era of the band and the circumstances surrounding the album and tour supporting it during which this show was recorded.

<i>Device – Voice – Drum</i>

Device – Voice – Drum is a live DVD by American rock band Kansas, released in 2002. The same concert was released as an enhanced double-CD live album. The CD release features the enhanced live track, "Distant Vision".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Phil Ehart</span> American drummer

Phillip W. Ehart is the drummer in the progressive rock band Kansas. He and Rich Williams are the only two members who have appeared on every Kansas album. Though his songwriting contributions to the group were few, he co-wrote two of their biggest hits, "Point of Know Return" and "Play the Game Tonight". He has also taken on the band's management responsibilities in recent years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carry On Wayward Son</span> 1976 single by Kansas

"Carry On Wayward Son" is a song recorded by American rock band Kansas, released from the band's fourth studio album Leftoverture (1976). Written by guitarist Kerry Livgren, the song became the band's first Top 40 single, reaching No. 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1977.

<i>Please Dont Touch!</i> 1978 studio album by Steve Hackett

Please Don't Touch! is the second studio album by English guitarist and songwriter Steve Hackett. It was released in April 1978 on Charisma Records, and it is his first album released after leaving the progressive rock band Genesis in 1977. Hackett had released Voyage of the Acolyte (1975) during his time in Genesis. For his next solo release he recorded in the United States and hired various guest artists, including singers Randy Crawford, Richie Havens, and Steve Walsh, drummers Phil Ehart and Chester Thompson, bassist Tom Fowler, with Van der Graaf Generator violinist Graham Smith.

<i>The Kansas Boxed Set</i> 1994 box set by Kansas

The Kansas Boxed Set is the third compilation from the band Kansas. It was originally released in 1994, and was the band's first boxed set overview of their career, emphasizing only their progressive rock era which was bracketed by the albums Kansas in 1974 and Audio-Visions in 1980. It also includes the new track "Wheels". The release was supervised by all the original band members, unlike the first release of The Best of Kansas in 1984.

<i>The Ultimate Kansas</i> 2002 greatest hits album by Kansas

The Ultimate Kansas is the fourth compilation from the band Kansas. It was originally released in 2002, and focuses solely on their Kirshner period from their debut album Kansas in 1974, up to and including Drastic Measures in 1983. The collection was rereleased in 2008 under the title Essential Kansas 3.0 as part of the Sony/BMG Legacy series of that name, with an additional "bonus disc" with seven additional songs, and featuring "eco-friendly" packaging.

<i>Seeds of Change</i> (album) 1980 studio album by Kerry Livgren

Seeds of Change is Kerry Livgren's first solo album. Released in 1980 while he still was a member of Kansas, it features guest appearances by three fellow Kansas members: Steve Walsh, Phil Ehart and Robby Steinhardt. Singer Ronnie James Dio and members of LeRoux, Jethro Tull, Ambrosia, and Atlanta Rhythm Section are also featured. In 1996, Seeds of Change was reissued by Renaissance Records with an interview with Livgren as a bonus track.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Point of Know Return (song)</span> 1977 single by Kansas

"Point of Know Return" is a song by the progressive rock band Kansas written by Steve Walsh (lyrics), Robby Steinhardt, and Phil Ehart for their 1977 album Point of Know Return.

<i>Schemer-Dreamer</i> 1980 studio album by Steve Walsh

Schemer-Dreamer is the first solo album by Steve Walsh, the original keyboardist/vocalist of the progressive rock band Kansas. It was released in 1980. Although this is his solo album, it features other members of Kansas including Kerry Livgren, Phil Ehart, and Rich Williams, as well as future Kansas member Steve Morse.

<i>The Prelude Implicit</i> 2016 studio album by Kansas

The Prelude Implicit is the fifteenth studio album by American progressive rock band Kansas, released in September 2016. It is their third studio album without founding member, lead vocalist and keyboardist Steve Walsh, who retired from the band in 2014; the other two being 1982's Vinyl Confessions and 1983's Drastic Measures. It is their first album with lead vocalist and keyboardist Ronnie Platt, keyboardist David Manion, and guitarist Zak Rizvi, who started as a co-producer and songwriter before being named a full member of the band.


  1. "History". Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 "Kansas: an everyday story of success, failure, drugs, booze and jealousy". Louder Sound . July 3, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  3. Powell, Mark (2005). Please Don't Touch! (Media notes). Charisma Records. CDSCDR 4012.
  4. Whitburn, Joel (2008). Joel Whitburn Presents Rock Tracks 1981-2008. Record Research. pp. 247–. ISBN   9780898201741.
  5. Shadowman at AllMusic
  6. KANSAS - Steve Walsh & Billy Greer Comment Exclusively |
  7. F4UR at Discogs
  8. Black Butterfly at Discogs