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Steve Walsh: Black Butterfly

Steve Walsh
Black Butterfly
(Escape Music Ltd)

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Vocalist/ keyboardist/songwriter, Steve Walsh retired from the classic prog American band, Kansas a few years ago. But here, on Black Butterfly, Walsh has unleashes a dozen tunes (most co-written with Tommy Denander who provides all the guitar and co-produces).

“Born In Fire,” and “The Piper” start us off. Steve Overland’s backing vocals lend solid weight to Walsh’s distinctive, if not slightly weaker pipes, while Jerome Mazza duets with Walsh on the first song (he even takes over on a few lead vocals here). Mazza is a stone-cold Walsh sound alike.

“Hell or High Water,” presents Walsh in his best voice, singing over a rush of arpeggio keyboards (very Kansas-like actually) and Walsh manages his first true piano playing on the last song here, “Billy Carbone Is Dead.” With horns and an “ah ah” refrain, it’s another highlight of the album.

Black Butterfly is slightly heavier than I would have expected from a solo album by Steve Walsh, and certainly one that took so long to come upon us. This is probably the influence of Denander, who has worked with lots of folks (most notably with Alice Cooper on his last release). But it’s good to hear Walsh in better vocal condition than I have heard from him (the last time I saw him fronting Kansas he was certainly not his best vocally), and of course to have some new music from the man.

 

 

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