Kansas fans - What happened to Steve Walsh's voice?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian O, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. Brian O

    Brian O Second Unit

    Apr 27, 1999
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    I was listening to some original '70s Kansas stuff and Steve Walsh's voice just sounded so good. I heard their Live at the Whiskey from early '90s and his voice was brutal. I saw them in concert last year and it was okay but definitely not what it once was. Something had to have happened to him at one time or another. I know he did some hard living over the years, so maybe it just caught up with him. He never really did play it safe with his vocals and would always go for it, but now his range is so limited it sounds pretty bad when he strains a little.
  2. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

    Apr 7, 1999
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    Keep in mind that the guy is 50 years old now. You're right, he never did really take good care of his voice--that's part of why he sounded so incredible in the 70s, because he was always going balls to the walls. If he was ever a smoker or a drinker, that can have severe effects on your vocal folds. But simple repetition and abuse can cause serious problems like nodules (I know--I had to have nodes surgically removed from my chords when I was 11).

    My guess is that Steve blew his voice out over the years and that he's lost some range. But if you listen to the latest album, Somewhere to Elsewhere, he sounds tons better than the previous studio album Freaks of Nature. Having seen Kansas live twice in the past decade, I think that his performance on Live at the Whisky is an aberration; he just had a bad vocal chords night for whatever reason.

    The key here is, I think, that he has come to grips with the fact that his range isn't what it used to be, and he's not expecting to be able to hit those high notes anymore. Look at it this way: he sounds tons better than Greg Lake or Bob Dylan.
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Aug 24, 2001
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    Rock singers rarely learn how to train and properly exercise their voices. So many great voices have been hurt over the years:

    Robert Plant

    Joni Mitchell

    Ian Anderson

    Bob Dylan

    Paul Simon

    A couple of singers who have kept their voices come to mind:

    Geoff Tate

    Jon Anderson

    Bruce Dickinson

    Generally, rock is DIY fly by the seat of your pants type of music. Singers just do what sounds good, not thinking about the future consequences.

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