From the “oh, damn it” file comes another piece of bad news to start the week. Robby Steinhardt, Violinist and Vocalist for prog-rock stalwarts Kansas, has died. He was 71.

While separated from the band in its most recent incarnations, Steinhardt was a key part of the Kansas sound which managed to blend progressive grandeur with a bit of Southern rock swagger. Further, his lower-register voice played perfectly with vocalists Steve Walsh and, later, John Elefante’s skyscraping vocal gymnastics.

Reports indicate he died on July 17 from acute pancreatitis and septic shock.

NBC News states that on May 13, “Steinhardt was admitted to the hospital with acute pancreatitis. Later that night, he went into acute septic shock and was placed on life support. Although the outlook was ‘very grave,’ he survived another two months. On July 17, the day Steinhardt was set to be released from medical care and moved to a rehab center, he suffered another sepsis and died at Tampa General Hospital.”

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