|Born||June 15, 1951|
St. Louis, Missouri
|Genres||Progressive rock, hard rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, keyboards, vibraphone, percussion, harmonica|
Steve Walsh (born June 15, 1951) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter best known for his work as a longtime member of the progressive rock band Kansas; he retired from the band in 2014. 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 co-wrote.
Walsh was in a number of local groups prior to his joining Kansas, most notably the group White Clover that later merged with another band to form Kansas. White Clover toured frequently and developed their sound. They merged with another local band, also called Kansas, and were signed to Don Kirshner's label with the name Kansas.
During Walsh's time with the band, Kansas recorded two commercially 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, along with 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. John Perry sang the "Narnia" vocal for the single release version.
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 Livgren, Rich Williams and Phil Ehart, as well as guitarist Steve Morse (who in 1985 joined the revamped Kansas). It contains the song "Every Step of the Way". In 1982 he formed a rock band called Streets with guitarist Mike Slamer, 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.[which?]
Kansas replaced Walsh with vocalist with John Elefante until their split in 1984, but reformed in 1986 with Walsh as lead singer. He remained with the band until his retirement in 2014.
Walsh released his second solo album Glossolalia in 2000. In 2003 he and Daniele Liverani formed the 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 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.
In 2015 Walsh contributed vocals to the Radioactive album F4UR, which was released on April 7, and he sings lead on the song "The Piper".
In November 2017 Walsh released a collaborative "solo" album between Walsh and Tommy Denander on the Escape Music label, entitled Black Butterfly.