Today we present a prog rock opera named Not On Kansas Anymore from Robby Steinhart, and he have close to an army of very skilled musical friends contributing on the album.
recording 9 albums which reached gold, platinum and double platinum status, and is now making another mark on the world with his first and only solo album.
The new album, Not in Kansas Anymore is a powerful, well thought-out offering of prog rock magic. Timely songs with incredible arrangements and virtuoso performances. Robby’s vocals and signature electric violin come through on this continuous work labeled a prog opera.
In his only interview for the project, he spoke with Bill Shafer of PBS. Steinhardt was asked what the meaning behind the title Not in Kansas Anymore was. Steinhardt responded, “It’s no slight against the band, no never! My time with Kansas defined a big part of my life, of which I am very proud of. Ever since The Wizard of OZ, those words have become an American axiom for moving forward, you can never go back etc.” Robby laughed, «I guess it has a special meaning when it is fixed to me».
The album, produced by Michael Thomas Franklin, is his latest production since the highly acclaimed Jon Anderson 1000 Hands Chapter One. Franklin used a similar approach using a large cast of renowned musicians to lend their talents. Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Steve Morse of Deep Purple/Dixie Dregs, Billy Cobham of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Bobby Kimball of Toto, Chuck Leavell of The Rolling Stones, Liberty Devitto (Drummer on Billy Joel’s hits), Jim Gentry, Pat Travers, Billy Ashbaugh (Moody Blues/Pat Benatar), Lisa Fischer (longtime vocalist for The Rolling Stones), 1000 Hands members Michael Franklin, Tommy Calton, Tim Franklin, Jocelyn Hsu, Rayford Griffin and Benoit Lajeunesse and many others including Orchestra and Choir.
The songs provide powerful lyrics, hard to forget choruses, combined with crafty playing. All this combined with Franklin’s lavish and complicated arrangements makes listening to Not in Kansas Anymore a wonderful hour well spent. The stunning album artwork created by Tom Lupo of Magnificent Pictures and subliminal song quotes from the Wizard of OZ, are another added feature to this complex Prog Opera. Currently four videos are in the works.
Steinhardt was in a reborn state of mind in the months prior to finishing the record. He and wife Cindy were looking forward to a new chapter in their lives. He had started rehearsals and was preparing to hit the road in August when he became ill in May. Robby’s musical vision, voice and violin lives on with his first and only solo album, Not in Kansas Anymore! Release was delayed due to Steinhardt’s passing July 17, 2021.
Robert Eugene Steinhardt (May 25, 1950 – July 17, 2021) was an American rock violinist and singer best known for his work with the group Kansas, for which he was co-lead singer/frontman and MC along with keyboardist Steve Walsh, from 1973 to 1982 and from 1997 to 2006.He and Steve Walsh were the only original members of the band not from Topeka.
Born in Cook County Hospital Chicago IL, Robby was adopted by Ilsa and Milton Steinhardt when he was just 4 days old.
Milton, a music professor and Ilsa, a clothing purchaser for I. Magnin, moved to Lawrence Kansas in the summer of 1951. Milton eventually became the Chairman of the Music History and Literature Department at Kansas University. Ilsa staying home to take care of her little boy.
Because of Milton’s profession they traveled to Europe where Robby attended school learning the violin.
Joining KANSAS in 1973, Robby became a noticeable figure as the bands front-man.
During his hiatus between 1982 and 1997, Robby formed Steinhardt Moon with Rick Moon touring Florida.
Robby returned to KANSAS in 1997 retiring in 2006.
Robby suffered a major heart attack in August 2013. He underwent a quadruple bypass, spending 52 days in the hospital. Not sure if he’d ever sing or play the violin again, Stormbringer (formerly Steinhardt Moon) encouraged Robby to do guest appearances with them at local venues which proved that Robby never missed a step!
2. Truth to Power (Only Truth Can Change the World)
3. Mother Earth (Is Calling You)
4. Rise of the Phoenix (Climb to Grace)
5. The Phoenix
7. Dust In the Wind
8. Pizzacotto – (A Slice for Baby Boy Flynn)
9. Downtown Royalty
10. Not in Kansas Anymore
11. A Prayer for Peace (Bonus Track)
Robby Steinhardt (Kansas) – vocals, violin
Patrick Moraz, Tim Franklin, Chuck Leavell, Tommy Calton, Jim Gentry, Billy Cobham, Michael Franklin, Liberty Devitto, Ian Anderson, Matt Brown, Pat Travers, Pat Gulotta, Rayford Griffin, Christopher Keogh, Paul Fleury, Olga Kopakova, Les Dudek, Steve Morse, Jocelyn Hsu, Billy Ashbaugh, Sonny Ferguson, Bobby Kimball, Benoit Lajeunesse, Charlie DeChant, Lisa Fischer, Elodir Germain, Pat Frost, Michelle Mailhot, Steve Walters, Billy Boyd, Brian Snapp, Davonnda Simmons, Jim Stringer, The Basel Hayden Singers.