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originally published: 10/25/2021

You know Robby steinhardt as the legendary violinist, singer and frontman of the band KANSAS, recording 9 albums which reached gold, platinum and double platinum status, and now making another mark in the world with his first and only solo album. Robby Steinhardt and Solar Studios have released Robby’s first and only solo recording, More in Kansas.

The new album, More in Kansas is a powerful and thoughtful offering of Prog Rock magic. Topical songs with incredible arrangements and virtuoso performances. Robby’s signature voice and electric violin shine through in this continuing work dubbed “progressive opera”.

The record’s release was delayed due to Steinhardt’s passing on July 17, 2021. In his only interview for the project, he spoke to PBS’s Bill Shafer. Steinhardt was asked what the meaning of the title was More in Kansas was. Steinhardt replied: “This is not an affront to the group, no never! My time in Kansas has defined a large part of my life, of which I am very proud. Since The Wizard of Oz, these words have become an American axiom for moving forward, you can never go back, etc. Robby laughed, “I guess it has special meaning when it’s stared at me.”

The album, produced by Michael Thomas Franklin, is his last production since the highly acclaimed Jon Anderson 1000 hands chapter one. Franklin used a similar approach using a large number 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 Rolling Stones singer), 1000 Hands members Michael Franklin, Tommy Calton, Tim Franklin, Jocelyn Hsu, Rayford Griffin and Benoit Lajeunesse and many more including Orchestra and Choir.

The songs provide powerful lyrics, hard-to-forget choruses, combined with clever playing. All of this combined with Franklin’s lavish and complicated arrangements makes listening More in Kansas a wonderful hour well spent. The stunning album covers created by Tom Lupo of Magnificent Pictures and the subliminal song quotes from the Wizard of Oz, are another feature added to this Prog Opera complex. Currently, four videos are in preparation.

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Steinhardt was in a reborn state of mind in the months leading up to the record’s end. He and his wife Cindy were eagerly awaiting a new chapter in their lives. He had started rehearsals and was about to hit the road in August when he fell ill in May. Robby’s musical vision, voice and violin endure with his first and only solo album, More in Kansas!

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