Is it just me, or does Steve Walsh – Kansas’ lead singer – look a lot like our own Gordon Anderson?
I mean, if Gordon grew his hair out and sported a ‘stache…??? (Unlike Walsh, I don’t think Gordon performs in gym shorts when his band plays.) If you know Gordon, watch the first moments of Walsh’s performance here (at the :52 mark) and try to tell me that doesn’t look like Gordon…and SOUND like him… Gordon does play in a band; read his blog for more of his musical exploits.
At any rate, I was a major Kansas fan growing up in Kansas. They were part of the progressive rock movement of the early 1970s and had a very unique style. Songs like this one, and “Dust in the Wind,” put Kansas on the map radio-wise, but much of their music wasn’t radio-friendly – long (8- to 10-minute) songs heavy with complex instrumentation and very introspective, un-rock-like lyrics. Plus a violin.
Guitarist/keyboard player Kerry Livgren, who was responsible for much of the band’s symphonic sound, became a Christian along the way and tensions between believers in the band and the non-believers splintered the group. It’s led to a number of major lineup changes over the years, including the Steve Walsh-voiced versions early on and now touring, and the John Elefante-voiced versions in the middle years.
If all you know of Kansas is “Wayward Son,” “Dust in the Wind” and “Point of Know Return,” you’re missing the best parts. The band’s landmark double-live album, “Two for the Show,” is arguably the best live album ever made.
Song: “Carry On My Wayward Son”
Where I heard it: XM Channel 7