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 66)
St. Louis, Missouri
Origin Atlanta, Georgia
Genres Progressive rock, hard rock
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, piano, organ, vibraphone, percussion, harmonica
Years active 1974-present
Associated acts Kansas, Streets

Steve Walsh (born June 15, 1951) is an American musician, singer and songwriter best known for his work as a 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 also co-wrote.

Career[edit]

Steve Walsh in 2008.

Walsh was in a number of local groups prior to his joining Kansas, most notably the group White Clover that ultimately became Kansas. White Clover toured relentlessly and sharpened their brand of distinctively American, hard-rocking progressive music. Kansas and White Clover merged and the group was signed to Don Kirshner's label. The newly-merged bands decided to go with the name Kansas. Walsh is the only original member of the band to not be from the state of Kansas.

During Walsh's time with the band, Kansas recorded two enormously 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, as well as 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. So due to the popularity of Kansas at that moment in time, John Perry, a relatively unknown singer, re-cut the Narnia vocal for the single release both abroad and domestically.

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

As a guest vocalist, Walsh has appeared on numerous other artists' recordings.

Kansas (who had obtained a different vocalist, John Elefante) split in 1984, but reformed in 1985 with Walsh back on board. He remained with the band until his retirement in 2014.

Walsh released his second solo album, entitled Glossolalia, in 2000. In 2003 he joined forces with Daniele Liverani to form the AOR Melodic rock 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 such musicians as Joe Franco on drums, Joel Kosche on guitars and bass, and David Ragsdale on the re-issued version of the album's bonus tracks.

On June 30, 2014, Walsh announced he would retire from Kansas after 41 years. This was publicized through a statement posted on the band's official Facebook page on July 2: "On June 30, 2014, Steve Walsh informed the members of Kansas that he is resigning from the band. His last performance with KANSAS was August 16, 2014, in Sioux City, Iowa, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. As KANSAS continues on, the band wishes Steve only the best in his future endeavors, and thanks him for the 41 years."

Shortly after the band Kansas made the announcement that Walsh was going to be retiring, he made the following statement regarding his decision to retire from the band. This following statement was released on the website MelodicRock.com:

“I'd like to thank all the fans that have come to see me sing in Kansas over the years. Sometimes I had to pinch myself just to make sure I wasn't dreaming that at my age I was still playing in a great band in front of great fans. I'd also like to extend my well wishes to the members. But I'd especially like to thank the crew that we've had now for a while. It's the best group of guys behind the scenes that I've ever worked with. They are most forgiving of us who stand in the bright light, and have done a lot that they really aren't required to do, just to make sure that my comfort and safety are well taken care of. I know there's a lot of different versions out there on why I'm leaving so let me just say that it's time for me to go, and yes, it makes me sad to have to admit that. Thanks again to all of you out there in the seats. I will never forget this. It's been a great party.” ~ Steve Walsh[2]

In 2015 Walsh contributed vocals to the latest Radioactive album entitled 'F4UR', which was released on April 7th, and he sings the song 'The Piper.'

In 2017 Walsh will release an album on the Escape Music label entitled "Steve Walsh - Black Butterfly." Its release date will be November 10th. He sings lead vocals on eight of the tracks and sings one "duet" with Jerome Mazza. This release was a collaboration between Walsh and Tommy Denander.

Personal life[edit]

Walsh was born June 15, 1951 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was adopted as an infant and grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri. He attended St James Catholic School and is a 1969 graduate of Christian Brothers High School. He now lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He is divorced and has a son named Bleu who was born in 1980, a daughter named Olivia who was born in 1999 and another son, Gabriel, born in 2006.

Discography[edit]

Solo

Streets

Contributions

Kansas

Studio Albums

Live Albums

Compilations

References[edit]

External links[edit]