Not long ago, the members of Kansas found themselves in a bit of an uncertain situation, to say the least. "Three to four years ago, the main writers for Kansas - Steve Walsh and Kerry Livgren - stated that they would no longer be writing for the band Kansas," explains drummer Phil Ehart. "That didn't mean that Kerry might not write a song or two for a special project, but that the two of them were done writing any album length material for Kansas. The four of us decided that we were not done yet, and Native Window was born to scratch that 'new material itch'."
Soon after, Ehart found himself with his other Kansas bandmates, Richard Williams (guitar), Billy Greer (vocals/bass), David Ragsdale (violin), to see if the non-Walsh fronted line-up could work. It turns out it certainly can, according to Ehart. "We had no idea what it would sound like! We had one criteria - the song had to sound good acoustically. If it sounded good with just acoustic guitar and vocals, then we developed it from there."
On June 23rd, Native Window released their self-titled debut album via StarCity Records (run by Jeff Glixman, who produced some of Kansas best-selling releases). Produced by Steve Rawls and Native Window, the album will certainly grab the attention of longtime Kansas fans, as well as admirers of smartly penned, melodic rock. "We could all carry a tune and sing in pitch," says Ehart, "But could we actually sound good together? It took some work to get over the hump of singing harmonies, but once we did, you couldn't shut us up! The lyrics were a total group effort. Someone would have a title, a one liner, a chorus, and the lyrics just sprung from there. Sometimes Billy would have a bunch of lyrical ideas, and we'd brainstorm from there." Greer himself also offers nothing but praise about the newly launched band. "The writing and recording process on this project was more rewarding and fun than any I have been involved in a very long time. Vocally, this was one of the most challenging and rewarding CD's I have ever recorded!"