Music » Livewire

Split Lip Rayfield

With Damnations, TX. Tuesday, March 27, at the Beachland.

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If the concept of punk bluegrass is a viable one, Split Lip Rayfield is its poster child. On the band's third Bloodshot album, Never Make It Home, SLR continues to splice the ideas of bluegrass with any and every rock idiom of the modern age, giving its interpretation a traditional foundation and an edgy architecture. Forget all of the structural oddities of the band and concentrate on the manner in which SLR manages to successfully blenderize bluegrass with the Blitzkrieg Bop. These guys don't limit themselves to SLR either. Guitarist Kirk Rundstrom divides his time between two bands, SLR and Scroatbelly (another wack outfit that records for the Bloodshot imprint), as well as compiling material for a solo project. Banjo mauler Eric Mardis is also a multiple band dweller, his other gigs being primarily metal and thrash bands. And bassist Jeffrey Eaton hits the road with SLR stocked with an arsenal of one-string basses, made exclusively with weedwhacker cord and automobile gas tanks. Mandolinist Wayne Gottstine has been a member only since the band's second album, so he's still working on his side project -- though some consider him the Jimi Hendrix of the mandolin. Split Lip Rayfield is the hillbilly shotgun marriage of country and rock that Gram Parsons couldn't have imagined at his most chemically imbalanced, but only because he wouldn't have known which side of the church to sit on.

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