About Split Lip Rayfield
Kansas-based band Split Lip Rayfield is described as a post-punk progressive bluegrass outfit. The quartet was comprised of guitarist/dobroist Kirk Rundstrom, bassist Jeff Eaton, Wayne Gottstine on the mandolin and Eric Mardis on the banjo. Its early draw was Eaton's homemade one-string instrument fashioned from the gas tank of an antique car, strung with one piece of weed whacker line.
The trio of Rundstrom, Easton and Mardis recorded and released the album "Split Lip Rayfield" in 1998. The following year saw the release of "In the Mud," the first project all four members of the band performed on together. It contained the hits "3.2 Flu," "Devil," "Mardis' Hounds," and a cover of the George Jones/Melba Montgomery song "Easy Street."
With seven albums to its name, including highlights like "Never Make It Home" (2000), the popularity of Split Lip Rayfield grew year after year. The 2004 effort "Should've Seen It Coming" won critical praise, and the band opened for the likes of Del McCoury and Nashville Pussy. The success was curtailed, however, with Rundstrom's cancer diagnosis in early 2006. He continued to perform with the band for months as he underwent treatment, but succumbed to the disease in February 2007 a week after playing his last show.
Split Lip Rayfield helped to pioneer what is known as the "Stage Five" sound, named for the notorious "unofficial" Stage 5 at the annual Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. The sound is described as the use of traditional acoustic instruments played on songs closely related to rock, punk and heavy metal.
The band has toured heavily in recent years, and currently has dates booked through February 2015.
date city state venue 1/21/2015 Kansas City MO Knuckleheads Saloon 1/24/2015 Wichita KS The Cotillion 2/21/2015 Kansas City MO Knuckleheads Saloon 2/27/2015 Saint Louis MO Old Rock House 3/27/2015 Iowa City IA Gabe's 4/3/2015 Springfield MO Outland Ballroom 6/4/2015 Lawrence KS Wakarusa Music Festival 6/13/2015 Kansas City MO The Crossroads 7/17/2015 Lincoln NE Bourbon Theatre
date city state venue 2/21/2014 Wichita KS The Cotillion 3/15/2014 Kansas City MO Knuckleheads Saloon 5/2/2014 Lawrence KS The Bottleneck 5/30/2014 Springfield MO Outland Ballroom 6/19/2014 Saint Louis MO Old Rock House 6/20/2014 Columbia MO Rose Music Hall 6/21/2014 Kansas City MO The Crossroads 8/30/2014 Iowa City IA Gabe's 12/5/2014 Springfield MO Outland Ballroom
date city state venue 8/9/2013 Lawrence KS Granada 12/31/2013 Lawrence KS The Bottleneck
date city state venue 4/19/2012 Columbia MO Rose Music Hall 4/27/2012 Indio CA Empire Polo Club 4/27/2012 Indio CA Empire Polo Club 4/28/2012 Tempe AZ Yucca Tap Room 9/22/2012 Great Bend KS Expo Complex 10/11/2012 Ozark AR Mulberry Mountain
date city state venue 1/8/2011 Wichita KS The Cotillion 1/15/2011 Denver CO Bluebird Theater 1/22/2011 Colorado Springs CO The Black Sheep 8/5/2011 Wichita KS The Cotillion