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.