Split Lip Rayfield
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Split Lip Rayfield , 6/10
In The Mud , 6/10
Never Make It Home , 6/10

Split Lip Rayfield are bluegrass outlaws from Wichita (kansas) that play home-made bass (Jeff Eaton), banjo (Eric Mardis) and acoustic guitar (Kirk Rundstrom) with the drunk exuberance of city-pub punks. Split Lip Rayfield (Bloodshot, 1998) was the manifesto of their thrash-grass. Like Bad Livers and 1980s' cowpunks, they rip through songs of chronic loss and emargination at lightning speed, shouting apocalyptic wit and desperation over the non-stop barrage of epileptic drum-less rhythms (Pinball Machine, Barnbunker, Combine).

In The Mud (Bloodshot, 1999) is a more mature album, although for the most part simply charges full-throttle (Thirteen, Glory of The Sun). But the band unveils a few original directions, like the sarcastic swing of Devil or the drunk waltz of 3/2 Flu even evoking in EZ St the immortal Holy Modal Rounders.

Recorded with the addition of mandolinist Wayne Gottstine Never Make It Home (Bloodshot, 2001) features the usual dose of fast-paced slapsticks (Kiss of Death) and old-fashioned ditties (Never Make It Home), but also better constructed songs like Moving to VirginiaDime Store Cowboy.

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