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Thread: Kansas Adds Second Guitarist

  1. #1
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    Kansas Adds Second Guitarist

    Kansas posted this on their Facebook page today:

    The band KANSAS is excited to announce the addition of guitarist Zak Rizvi as its newest member.
    While new to KANSAS’s on stage lineup, Rizvi is not new to working with the band. His relationship with KANSAS goes back almost 20 years when his band 4front opened for KANSAS. Zak went on to work alongside producer Jeff Glixman on various KANSAS projects, including “There’s Know Place Like Home,” as well as the Native Window album, a project of KANSAS’s Phil Ehart, Billy Greer, David Ragsdale, and Richard Williams. This led to KANSAS asking Rizvi to co-produce the band’s upcoming album, “The Prelude Implicit.”
    “Zak goes back a long way with the band, to a time when he relentlessly chased me down via fax machine to pitch song ideas,” explains KANSAS drummer Phil Ehart. “As we were all working together on the new album, it was obvious to us that he was a natural fit for KANSAS. Richard and I turned to each other and questioned, ‘Why isn’t he in this band?’ After discussing it with the other guys, Zak and I took a walk together in the studio parking lot, and I invited him to join. Zak accepted. He’s a good friend, an incredible person, guitarist, and songwriter, and we are happy to have him aboard.”
    “I’m really thankful and excited for this opportunity,” commented Rizvi. “Having a long history of working with the band and Jeff Glixman, I really look forward to adding to the legacy of the band. KANSAS has a very high musical standard, and as member of the band, I plan to maintain that standard for the band and the fans.”
    Guitarist Richard Williams adds, “It’s been a very long time since the band has had two full time guitarists. It’s really exciting to get back to that and what Zak will add to the live sound. He’s a very talented guitarist, and what he contributed to “The Prelude Implicit” is nothing short of remarkable.”
    Rizvi’s first performance with KANSAS will be May 12 in Bowling Green, KY.

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    Interesting update, thanks.

  3. #3
    Interesting. The band keeps getting bigger. Wonder if Ragsdale will still play guitar too.

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Maybe they'll do some harmony leads.

  5. #5
    Weren't they talking about adding a third keyboardist?

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    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Very interesting, indeed. Kansas is at their best, IMO, when they have that big "wall of sound" going. Really looking forward to their new album.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  7. #7
    I think Zak can also play keys, so perhaps when Ronnie is playing front man, Zak can get behind Ronnie's keys.

  8. #8
    dregsfan, you called it on that other thread a few weeks ago

    Zak did play keys as well for 4front apparently, I'm surprised the Kansas announcement only talks of him as a guitarist. It also doesn't clearly state that he contributed to the writing of the new album already, which I'm pretty sure is the case.

    I hope Ragsdale is still going to play guitar occasionally, I'm sure there are bits that would be great with three guitars.

    They went from being a 5 piece with Walsh to now having 7 members - I'm glad they prioritized being able to do justice to the music to maximizing earnings - I doubt they'll be playing bigger venues so that must mean smaller cuts all around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamishogun View Post
    Weren't they talking about adding a third keyboardist?
    Technically they could now have up to 4 keyboardists on stage. As others have mentioned the new guy also plays keys. Their full time keys man is Dave Marion. Vocalist Ronnie Platt also plays keys. In addition, although he rarely does it live, David Ragsdale is a decent keyboard player himself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bails View Post
    Very interesting, indeed. Kansas is at their best, IMO, when they have that big "wall of sound" going. Really looking forward to their new album.
    Agreed, with the combination of musicians they now have, they have limitless combinations of instrument choices. I think this could be really cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarthVander View Post

    They went from being a 5 piece with Walsh to now having 7 members - I'm glad they prioritized being able to do justice to the music to maximizing earnings - I doubt they'll be playing bigger venues so that must mean smaller cuts all around.
    Kansas did get to a point in their 5 piece days when they were playing some really small places. Their concert profile seems to be a bit higher these days then it got for a while. I don’t know what they get for a show these days, but back in the 00’s they were still commanding a pretty formidable figure for their appearances, so even with 7 members I suspect they will be doing ok.

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    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    I'd definitely say he's a good fit. I love 4Front. And I think I found them via a PE recommendation!

    I will say I do hope the Meatwall doesn't get pushed into the background because of this. He and Phil are the heart and soul of this band (especially now).
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

  13. #13
    Their concert profile seems to be a bit higher these days then it got for a while. I don’t know what they get for a show these days, but back in the 00’s they were still commanding a pretty formidable figure for their appearances, so even with 7 members I suspect they will be doing ok.
    Plus I would guess the new guys get a smaller cut than Walsh used to...

    I'd definitely say he's a good fit. I love 4Front. And I think I found them via a PE recommendation!
    I'd never heard of them until Rizvi's name came up in relation to Kansas a couple of weeks ago. Will need to check them out now, the couple of tracks I've heard so far were cool.

  14. #14
    As an aside, 4Front's drummer Joe Bergamini(?) was the most recent drummer for Happy The Man.

  15. #15
    My guess for adding Zak is that he wrote or co-wrote a lot of the new album and it looks better not having an "outsider" responsible for much of the material.

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    Member progholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dregsfan View Post
    My guess for adding Zak is that he wrote or co-wrote a lot of the new album and it looks better not having an "outsider" responsible for much of the material.
    If that's the case then that looks like a pretty bold move forward rather than just settling into being a nostalgia act. Pretty cool.

  17. #17
    My guess for adding Zak is that he wrote or co-wrote a lot of the new album and it looks better not having an "outsider" responsible for much of the material.
    That's what I thought as well. Especially with Rich Williams talking in a recent interview about already planning the next album and the one after that - guess they needed a writer (which is not too surprising) and they preferred to have that writer be a member of the band.

  18. #18
    Member Mikhael's Avatar
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    Dammit, they didn't call me when Hackett left, and now Kansas...
    Gnish-gnosh borble wiff, shlauuffin oople tirk.

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    Member Garion81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progholio View Post
    If that's the case then that looks like a pretty bold move forward rather than just settling into being a nostalgia act. Pretty cool.
    We shall see. If they are content the album will less than 100,000 mark just like Somewhere to Elsewhere then they should be content. But it won't stop a lot of people from taking a piss or yelling for Carry on when they try to play it live. I hope I am wrong.

  20. #20
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    His first gig.. (he on the far right side)


  21. #21
    I was there at the Bowling Green show. They were AMAZING!!!!!! Best I have heard them since ....well...ever. My son joined me for the show, it was his first "real" concert. He is a huge fan. Not only did he LOVE the concert, but he won the signed guitar and backstage meet-and-greet with the band, so we got to meet them and chatted a little. Ronnie was really engaging and seemed tickled that I remembered him from his set with Yezda Urfa at Nearfest (2004?). If you like Kansas at its proggiest, do not miss this tour.kansas.jpg

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by littleatlas_steve View Post
    I Not only did he LOVE the concert, but he won the signed guitar and backstage meet-and-greet with the band, so we got to meet them and chatted a little.
    That's fricking awesome!

    Does your son play guitar?

  23. #23
    My son plays sax and keys, but he is now determined to learn guitar. He's like his old man, jack of many trades...Probably my fave quote from him at the concert was (and I paraphrase): "Dad, holy crap, you can FEEL the music inside you!!! This is totally different than jamming tunes on my ipod". Yes, son, yes it is.

  24. #24
    His first gig.. (he on the far right side)
    I just watched that video last night, it was the only one I could find with Rizvi already in the band. Looks like Rich W. kept the second guitar solo (that was Kerry originally I believe) so no solos for Rizvi on this. I wonder how much lead he plays in the rest of the set (and in general which guitar parts he's playing).
    Did he play any keys?

    Good to see Rags still playing guitar on this so they've got the 3 guitar thing going now.

    Ronnie sounds very good but was changing the melody a bit too much for my taste here...

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    Phil is one hard working drummer.

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