Track of the Week: “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas

Track of the Week“Carry On Wayward Son” is a tune recorded in 1977 by the prog-rock band Kansas. As is typical of any prog-rock song, this one features multiple themes and varied instrumentation. But this song stands out for me because it focuses less on the prog and more on the rock.

Nothing exudes rock more than power chords and this song has plenty of them. Prog-rock bands sometimes fall into the conceptual trap that simple means boring. Not Kansas, not here. They take the simplest of chords and rock it in a variety of interesting ways.

What’s almost as rockin’ as power chords? Well, pentatonic scales of course. The guitar parts in “Carry On Wayward Son” could be final exam for a class on pentatonic riffage. Just about every rhythm guitar part features crunchy, bottoms-up pentatonic goodness.

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