Split Lip Rayfield
The fire rages on for the powerhouse trio from Kansas, Split Lip Rayfield (SLR), as they celebrate the release of their new record, “I’ll Be Around.” The new album showcases the songwriting talents of mandolin player Wayne Gottstine and banjo player Eric Mardis, tied together by the harmony and deep-bass licks of Jeff Eaton. Such songs as “Aces High,” “Heart of Darkness,” and “The High Price of Necromancy” will take listeners on a journey of love, loss, change, and dark powers, as they discover what lies in the mysterious minds of SLR. The song for which the album is named, “I’ll Be Around,” serves as a tribute to the band’s fallen teammate Kirk Rundstrom, whose influence on the band and its path was great. Rundstrom’s legacy continues to live on in the new album and also the band itself as every live show is dedicated to his memory. Split Lip Rayfield has carved out their own genre of music with their unique sound and instrumentation. Often described as a mix of bluegrass and country with an accent of metal, no other band delivers the experience of the homemade gas-tank bass played by Jeff Eaton, sets the mandolin strings on fire like Wayne Gottstine, or makes the banjo sing like Eric Mardis. Together, they burn up speakers and stages alike providing an unforgettable experience. This is one trio not to miss! For more information about the new Split Lip Rayfield album, “I’ll Be Around,” or live shows, please visit their website at www.splitliprayfield.com. With over a decade of recording and performing under its belt, Split Lip Rayfield has demonstrated an uncanny ability to survive adverse conditions and swim against mainstream trends to emerge as one of the Midwest’s most uncompromising bands. Split Lip hasn’t just carved a niche, it’s sounded a firm and furiously independent tone that reverberates in the ears of music lovers from coast to coast. With four studio albums- including Never Make It Home and Should Have Seen It Coming- and the recent Live at the Cotillion Ballroom DVD under its belt, by any means necessary live performances (including appearances at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Wakarusa, and road stints with The Reverend Horton Heat and Nashville Pussy) and a four pronged attack of acoustic instrumentation, punk attitude and speed metal aggression, plus well-crafted songs (3.2 Flu, Redneck Tailgate Dream, and Outlaw), Split Lip has stared into the face of adversity and survived. The death of SLR co-founder and guitarist Kirk Rundstrom in February 2007 deeply impacted the band members, but Rundstroms’s tireless spirit and determination inspired Jeff Eaton (gas tank bass/vocalist) and Wayne Gottstine (mandolin/vocals) to continue advancing the SLR cause. In August the trio performed several regional dates to enthusiastic response – with the trademark blood and glory ethic as evident as ever – and decided that it was time to take the road once more. “I’m excited to tour again,” Gottstine said. “The four of us worked for 10 years as a band and we still enjoy making music together. Jeff and Eric are my favorite people to play with and we don’t want to give up on that.” With the band’s finest moment still on the horizon, doesn’t it seem time that you got hip, as they say, to the Lip?