David Ragsdale Back in Kansas

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Over a week after Steve Walsh announced the departure of Robby Steinhardt from Kansas, the news section of the official Kansas website has now announced officially that he is gone and David Ragsdale has returned. Here is the announcement:

The band KANSAS would like to bring finality to our recent member change. After a mutual decision to separate, KANSAS wishes Robby Steinhardt only the best for his career and life.

KANSAS takes this opportunity to welcome David Ragsdale to the band and we look forward to an exciting and creative future.

And as always, we thank our fans for their continued support.

They continue to have my support. I will miss Robby. He was especially nice to me on one occasion, and I very much enjoyed talking to him both times I got to meet him. I wish him the best and will miss the special sensitivity he approaches his violin playing with and his soulful voice. I do really like David Ragsdale's contributions to the band, however, and I expect we'll see an excellent CD of Walsh-Ragsdale compositions perhaps even as early as next year. If it's anything like Freaks of Nature or David & Goliath, it will be good and very much like classic Kansas. I suspect it might be even better if the reason for this reunion with Ragsdale was so they could use the sort of material this time around that they didn't use before (the reason he left in 1997). Besides, you've got to love a guy whose fashion sense allows him to wear sport coats or vests with nothing on underneath except the ever-present fanny pack around his waist.

Unfortunately, they don't have any dates scheduled this summer anywhere near me except when I'm going to be teaching an intensive summer course and will just be unable to drive to NYC on a Monday afternoon, see them at night, and spend all night driving back so I can teach at 8:30 am with no sleep. And that's the best of the possibilities. Oh, well.

8 Comments

Hi. my names kyle. i just wanted to say that i feel that robby should not have left. i completlet agree with the decision, but then again, robby pretty much is kansas. i will miss robby teribly

kyle

I was fortunate to meet Robby on a couple of occasions, and he is one of lifes nice guys. He will be missed. However, on a musical note, the two concerts that I saw Kansas at in London and Paris last year were , if I am honest, boring.Although the early albums are great, I got into Kansas when hearing People of the Southwind on BBC Radio 1, when they did a rundown of the USA top 40 singles.I wanted to hear Hold On ,Fight fire...,etc off the later albums, but it was not to be. I saw the band in Atlantic City on the ANTS tour, when at least they did a couple of new songs (even Eleanor Rigby was a great cover). I too am sick of compliations, but buy them out of loyalty.I would gladly buy any new material that Ragsdale could come up with, just for the sake of hearing something new. Heres hoping!

They have done Fight Fire With Fire and Hold On recently. They're both on the DVD that came out in 2002, I believe. After playing them for a few years, they got sick of them and replaced them with something else. I do think the setlists have been rather stale lately, though, so I haven't been too disappointed not to have seen them since 2001 (except that I never saw Distant Vision when they were doing it in 2002). I am disappointed not to be seeing them with Ragsdale this summer. The latest report is that they're going to be doing Black Fathom 4, a song I've never seen them do live.

I am estatic to see Ragsdale back with Kansas. Im a fan of Steinhardt as well but Ragsdale will bring a soulfull and technical change in the music I feel. I am VERY fortunate to have Ragsdale do a couple tracks as a guest musician on one of the projects I am producing. I too am burnt out on all the remix CD's but must buy them as a loyal Kansas Freak. The current Kansas line up is the best in my opinion. with Ragsdale and Greer both in the mix, the next CD should be a great one. I personally would like to see the guys utilize more tech strings in their compositions. Perhaps add a Cello. Or how about adding a second guitar to compliment Williams? I know Rags is a smoke'n guitarist himself but Trevor Rabin would be such a perfect fit for Kansas both as a performer and composer.

My wife and I will both miss Robby. To us, he was the personality of the group and I doubt that his vocals can be replaced. But I look forward to seeing the group in Arkansas in a few weeks.

David Ragsdale is FANTASTIC!.. He stole the show last night ... It was so wonderful.The band was wonderful...

Hoping to find out more info on you David. My girlfriend Renee is enthralled with you and travels great distances in the state of California when you guys play. And somtime into Arizona. She is always asking me to find you on-line so here I am looking.
What can I tell her? Do you have your own my-space or your own website? Please let me know so we can lead her to a place to read more about you. I would never think there is something she doesnt know but like I said she is completly lost in her thoughts of you..Thank you for your time! If you could only understand. You would probably recongnize her if you saw her at any given time!..Love, LISSA

Lissa,

I am not David Ragsdale, and I don't expect him to be reading comments on my blog. He does have an official website, where you can find more information about him, including a way to contact him. You can also check out the official Kansas website, since he's been back with them. You can also find links to projects he's been on recently here.

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