9/11/2006

Kansas-Works In Progress

Artist: Kansas
Title: Works In Progress
Genre: Progressive Rock-Metal
Format: DVD/CD
Label: Intersound Records
Website

Not too long, after the release of this Kansas set, long time violinist and vocalist Robbie Steinhardt left the band again and David Ragsdale replaced him, again. The release of Works In Progress is ironic in that it documents a configuration of the band with Ragsdale on violin. The reason that the band decided to release this archival material is that the live performances contained herein were tight as the band ever was. According to the band, it was one of the best Kansas lineups to set foot on stage. After listening and watching I have to agree, they were hitting on all of their cylinders and sounded red-hot.

Music from the underrated album Freaks Of Nature and the incredibly ambitious Device Voice Drum DVD, which in my opinion is one of their greatest achievements, and Live At The Whiskey with a special guest appearance of Kerry Livgren on select tracks are included on this set. You will not hear any rarities; it is the same tracks you have probably heard over and over again accept with the energy kicked up a few notches. If you are a Kansas fan, this is a no brainer, get it because you will enjoy it immensely.

Its disappointing that Steinhardt left again as I was looking forward to another Kansas studio recording at some point featuring most of the original lineup, however Ragsdale does a fine job on violin, he just cannot replace Robbie’s signature vocals. This documentation is solid proof of Ragsdale’s capabilities.

Time will tell how things work out for the band. In the meantime, we have plenty of great Kansas music to enjoy; all remastered in glorious sound and now this fine release to add to that collection.

Of particular interest to fans will be the compelling stripped down versions of “Dust In The Wind” and “Hold On.” Its Kansas unplugged if you will and yet another enticement to get this double disc set.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 11, 2006

01. Mysteries & Mayhem (8:25)
02. Portrait (5:38)
03. Down the Road (5:51)
04. Black Fathom (5:54)
05. Freaks of Nature (4:07)
06. Under the Knife (5:00)
07. I Can Fly (5:21)
08. Peaceful and Warm (6:47)
09. The Wall (5:30)
10. Cheyenne Anthem (7:30)
11. Hold On (4:15)
12. Dust in the Wind (3:57)
13. Intro
14. Belexes [DVD]
15. Icarus II
16. Icarus I
17. Mysteries & Mayhem
18. Portrait
19. Down the Road
20 Hold On
21. Dust in the Wind

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