For the band Streets, Walsh recruited drummer Tim Gehrt, bassist Billy Greer, and guitarist Mike Slamer. Slamer had been with the British cult act City Boy, and Greer and Gehrt were regional players who had seen success with bands in Tennessee and Atlanta, respectively.
Gehrt was actually working with ex-Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes when Walsh recruited him for Walsh's first solo effort, Schemer Dreamer. Walsh had noticed him when one of Gehrt's earlier bands had opened for Kansas. The two became friends and eventually spoke of forming a band together.
Slamer had never met Walsh until he showed up for the audition. "I decided that I wanted to move to America," says Slamer. "The kind of music that I wanted to make wasn't being played at all in England, so I came here."
Streets made its debut performance at Charlie Daniels' annual Volunteer Jam in January, 1983. The debut LP was released later that year on Atlantic Records. The band played on another band's equipment and only played four songs.
"We got out there and proved that we could play," says Walsh. "We go out there and we did damn good," he says, laughing. "We proved to ourselves that we could pull it off and that we were on the right track." "Starting over was very humbling," says Walsh, who initially toured with Streets in large clubs and small halls. "But we got a lot of good feedback to the album. We were playing live every night and being onstage (was) very renewing for us..."
"I wanted to form a democratic band," says Walsh, about the project today. "I did not want to be a solo singer with a band of sidemen. I like being in a band." He adds: "I couldn't have done (that project) alone. I needed the help of every musician involved. We were all of equal importance in the creation of the final song."
The group had a limited lifespan during the early 1980s, but managed to release a solid album of songs and musical performances entitled simply 1st. The songs from this powerful live performance were culled from a memorable King Biscuit show taped during the band's initial promotional tour.
Tracks like "If Love Should Go," "Move On" and "Cold Hearted Woman" never became radio hits, but gave the band the musical vehicle it needed to win audiences over. Streets was a high energy band that featured solid musicianship.
"Sometimes you have to get back to basics," said Steve Walsh recently. "It allows for artistic freedom."
The band later recorded its second album, Crimes in Mind, in 1985. Soon after, Streets disbanded. A year later, Walsh reformed Kansas, which had disbanded after two albums without Walsh. At this writing, Walsh remains Kansas' frontman, singing, writing, and performing with them; as well as producing solo albums.