Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Steinhardt, Robby: Not in Kansas Anymore-A Prog Opera

The progressive rock world lost one of the greats during the summer of 2021 when former Kansas violinist/vocalist Robby Steinhardt passed away just as he had been finishing up his first ever solo album, Not in Kansas Anymore-A Prog Opera. Though he hadn't appeared on a Kansas album since 2000's Somewhere to Elsewhere, here, Steinhardt doesn't miss a beat and delivers an album that will bring a smile to the face of any fan of his former band. Joining Robby here on Not in Kansas Anymore-A Prog Opera are a host of guests, including 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 from Billy Joel), 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.

Upbeat, symphonic, grand, and majestic are just some of the ways to describe this album, which shows the late Steinhardt in great form vocally, and his soaring violin also top notch. Many of the tracks here will bring you back to vintage '70s Kansas, such as "Tempest", "The Phoenix", "Mother Earth (Is Calling You)", the intricate title track, the dueling flute (courtesy of Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson), violin, and acoustic guitars of "Pizzacotto", and the gorgeous reimagining of the classic "Dust in the Wind". The lush "A Prayer for Peace" is the closing bonus track on the CD, and a heartwarming composition that will not only leave you longing for better days ahead, but also the loss of this fabulous musician.

One listen to Not in Kansas Anymore-A Prog Opera will leave you scratching your head wondering why it took so long for Robby Steinhardt to release his first solo album, and then the realization hits that this will sadly be the last. Savor this one folks.

Track Listing
1. Tempest
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
6. Prelude
7. Dust In the Wind
8. Pizzacotto �" (A Slice for Baby Boy Flynn)
9. Tuck Tuck
10. Not in Kansas Anymore
11. A Prayer for Peace (Bonus Track)

Added: December 25th 2021
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2137
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Steinhardt, Robby: Not in Kansas Anymore-A Prog Opera
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-12-25 20:16:59
My Score:

It would be easy, and right to lament that the wonderfully titled Not In Kansas Anymore - A Prog Opera will be both the first and last solo album we’ll receive from singer and violin player Robby Steinhardt. But let’s instead be thankful that we got one at all, because this album, make no mistake, lives up to the legacy of the band this man will always fondly be remembered as an integral part of, Kansas.

And that in itself appears to be no accident, because, while it has a true identity of its own, that the unmistakable voice and violin of Steinhardt makes much of this album feel and sound like Kansas is something brought to the fore time and again. In fact, he even went as far as to create an instantly recognisable, yet still individual enough retelling of the Kansas classic “Dust In The Wind”, which follows on from the rather marvellous “Prelude” where the arranging skills that have gone into making this album such a joy on the ears are utilised to the full.

The cast list is stellar, and then some, guest slots filled by Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Steve Morse (Deep Purple and, of course, ex-Kansas), Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Bobby Kimball (Toto), Pat Travers, Billy Ashbaugh (Moody Blues/Pat Benatar) and many, many more (see Peter’s review above), meaning that the worry is, of course, that squeezing them all in will compromise the songs themselves and how they flow, but with Michael Thomas Franklin producing and coordinating it all, it simply never becomes an issue. In fact, in a very good way, it’s only really Anderson, Morse and Travers who truly get to take centre stage for certain, reasonably short moments. This allows all three to shine, but never dominate and that’s a rare skill where guest stars are incorporated. Travers’ solo on “Truth to Power (Only Truth Can Change the World)” is really quite something, with the vintage guitarist offering a softer tone than we’re used to hearing from him. Whereas Morse adds sublime guitars to the glorious instrumental, “Rise of the Phoenix (Climb to Grace)”, and when you add in Anderson’s contained flute on “Pizzicato”, it has to be said that the use of these guests - and all of the others - is as good as you’ll hear anywhere.

That all said, the real stars here are Steinhardt and his songs, Not In Kansas Anymore an album that leaves you fully satisfied, while still craving for more. Unfortunately, there will be no second helping, but then there’s always the opportunity to hit play once more and that’s exactly what any fan of this much missed musician’s work will want to do again and again and again.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by