Robby Steinhardt, whose violin and voice were the cornerstone of American progressive rock band Kansas during its heyday in the 1970s, died of acute pancreatic complications and sepsis. Steinhardt passed away on Saturday, July 17, 2021, with his wife Cindy by his side according to her. Facebook page. Steinhardt was 71 years old.
Steinhardt sang both lead and harmony vocals with Kansas, often swapping roles multiple times during a song with vocalist / keyboardist Steve Walsh. Walsh’s sharp tenor and Steinhardt’s sharper lower register blended well, as evidenced early in the band’s recording career:
The video also shows Steinhardt’s starting position as the band’s stage leader, a role he would gradually share with Walsh as the latter became more visually involved.
An example from later in the band’s career demonstrates both Steinhardt’s vocal technique in the song’s verses, with Walsh in charge of the chorus, and how Steinhardt’s violin fitted into both melodic and harmonic parts during instrumental passages:
Kerry Livgren, who wrote the band’s two best known songs, “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Dust In The Wind”, said this in her Facebook page:
Everything is on hiatus with the news this morning. I lost a friend. I can only quote myself: “I have a lot to say and yet I cannot speak.”
On a personal note, during my teens in the 1970s Kansas was a life saver. The band’s music captivated and inspired all of us who hid in our room guitar in hand, crafting the songs to the best of our ability and sometimes even playing them with our little bands that we knew were the safe ticket to the band. rock’n’roll stardom. . They weren’t, and we get on with our lives. However, the music remained, something unique and of value that cuts through the nostalgic glaze as it reminds us that to this day it was, and is, possible to rock and engage the mind simultaneously with more than infinitely recycled riffs.
Rest in peace, Robby Steinhardt. You helped provide the soundtrack to our lives, and for that, we will always be grateful.