Friday, August 18, 2006
I was stunned to read this morning that Kansas's greatest band, Split Lip Rayfield, is playing its final shows this weekend (8/18 and 8/21) at the Bottleneck, as singer/guitarist Kirk Rundstrom (second from right) is terminally ill.
Split Lip released some great records on Chicago's Bloodshot label and toured extensively, but never quite had the national breakthrough they deserved.
They played what might be called hardcore bluegrass--traditional hillbilly music played with the loudness and intensity of punk rock. I've never seen a band generate more power with acoustic instruments (guitar, mandolin, banjo, and the infamous gas-tank bass). You never even noticed that there were no drums--they would have been redundant.
Find out more about the band and listen to their music here. My faves are "Crazy" and "Movin' to Virginia."
It's fitting that their swan song is at the Bottleneck; I've seen them there at least a half dozen times, and can honestly say I've never had more fun at a concert than at those shows. The noise, the intensity, the heat, the crush of people--it was like the Fieldhouse during a Mizzou game. I wish I could be there this time ...
Posted by DGL at 9:28 AM