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July 23, 2024

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Split Lip Rayfield
Split Lip Rayfield (Bloodshot Records)

By: Geoff Melton

Following a path similar to the one laid down by the likes of the Bad Livers and labelmates The Meat Purveyors, comes Split Lip Rayfield with their eponymous debut CD. Led by the deep throbbing thump of Jeff Eaton's tank fiddle (a bass constructed of a wooden neck, one nylon string and a truck's gas tank), and rounded out by former Scroat Belly members Kirk Rundstrom and Eric Mardis on acoustic guitar and banjo respectively (all three members contribute vocals), this trio churns out fifteen barn-burning bluegrass tracks in just thirty-four minutes, only slowing for "Pinball Machine", the beautiful melodies of "Combine" and the hilareous "Freckled Face Liza Jane", which comes complete with a kazoo solo. Lyrically things are just as twisted as they are musically, dealing with subjects like backwoods women, truck driving, tractors and drinking. If you're looking for classic bluegrass, then look elsewhere, but it you're looking for music for a slam-dancing hoedown, then this is it.
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