Carry On

SALAMANCA – The band that brought the world such hits as “Dust In the Wind,” “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Point of Know Return,” is coming to Salamanca.

Kansas will appear at the Seneca Allegany Casino and Hotel on Sunday, March 24, at 5 p.m. Not only has Kansas appeared at the Seneca Allegany Casino for several previous performances, but violin player David Ragsdale said he recalls his teacher, Andrew Galos, taught at Chautauqua Institution.

“Andrew used to teach at Chautauqua Institute in the summertime, almost every year at the music camp,” said Ragsdale. “I wasn’t fortunate enough to get to go to Chautauqua, but there might still be people there that remember Dr. Galos, because he was quite the character. He passed away a couple years ago; bless his heart.”

According to Ragsdale, the show is an opportunity for fans of Kansas to catch an hour-and-a-half show that pulls from all of the band’s albums, which total about 12 hours of material.

“We don’t run our mouths; we pretty much get right down to business to try to deal out some rock ‘n’ roll,” said Ragsdale. “We have a couple of revolving set lists, and I don’t want to give away too much. But, I can tell you for a fact we will be probably being playing ‘Carry On Wayward Son.’ Anyone who is a Kansas fan can expect to hear at least one of their very favorites – we try to represent as much as we can, and we try not to disappoint. The one thing I hope fans take away from this show is joy, because what we attempt to do is make people happy and glad they came. We want everyone to walk away going, ‘That was amazing!'”

According to the band’s bio, Kansas’ first album, which was self-titled, was released in 1974. It featured a public statement that read, “From the beginning, we considered ourselves and our music different and we hope we will always remain so.” That mentality has endured through the years, said Ragsdale, who joined the band in 1991 and has been touring with it since.

“I think we have (retained that mentality),” said Ragsdale. “We’ve never wandered away from what got us here. In other words, we are still on the horse that we rode in on. We haven’t changed, and we’ve tried very much to stick to what made us. One of the main reasons Kansas has been able to stick around so long is because of its difference.”

40 YEARS STRONG

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, for its 40th anniversary, Kansas will celebrate with a performance in Pittsburgh, Pa. on August 17. The show will feature all six original members of the band, including Dave Hope, Kerry Livgren and Robby Steinhardt, who will join the current members as special guests.

“In this day in age to still be touring is pretty amazing, especially with as many of the original members,” said Ragsdale. “(To have inspired fans for so long) is beyond awesome really. To have been doing this for 40 years is amazing because most bands don’t. This tour has been going on basically since 1991.”

Since the band’s inception, Kansas has produced eight gold albums, three multi-platinum albums, one platinum live album and the gold single “Dust in the Wind.” In 2013, the band still consists of three of the original members, and the others have been involved for more than 20 years. The five current members of Kansas include: Steve Walsh, keyboard, synthesizer and vocals; Richard Williams, guitar; Phil Ehart, percussion; Billy Greer, bass and vocals; and Ragsdale, violin, guitar and vocals.

The band’s most recent release includes a live album from 2009 that features a show held in celebration of the band’s 35th anniversary; it is called “There’s Know Place Like Home.” The album features 14 tracks, with hits such as “Point of Know Return,” “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On Wayward Son.” It was recorded live at Washburn University’s White Concert Hall in Topeka, Kan., where the band originated. The show, which was backed by the university’s symphony orchestra, was also filmed, and a DVD by the same name was released, which featured four additional songs. For more information visit www.kansasband.com.

“(People should come out to see us) because we’re really good, and they will thoroughly enjoy it,” said Ragsdale. “Most of us take a little better care of ourselves than some others might, and it’s fun to be able to do what we do at what is still a very high level.”

Tickets for the Sunday, March 24, show start at $20. All ages are welcome, but those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The Seneca Allegany Casino Events Center is located at 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca. For more information visit senecaalleganycasino.com or call 888-913-3377.