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[Off The Record]
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Split Lip Rayfield

Yes, the bass playerís instrument of choice is a Ford gas tank outfitted with just one string. And yes, there is a fair bit of discussion of whiskey and trucks in the lyrics. But once you get past the raw and rugged surface, Split Lip Rayfieldís music is informed by surprisingly nimble and deceptively complex arrangements for bass, banjo, guitar, and mandolin; tasteful and inventive playing; well-formed harmony; and great storytelling. " Never Make It Home " captures the forlorn vibe of Appalachian folk and murder ballads, with its call-and-response chorus, " Donít think Iíll ever make it home/Swim that muddy water, " and rippling mandolin. " PB24SS " is a trucking tune thatís perhaps best described as progressive bluegrass. " River " and " Love Please Come Home " are lightning fast and feature the bandís best four-part country harmony vocals. And it wouldnít be a Bloodshot album without a damned fine insurgent country anthem like " Dime Store Cowboy, " fightiní words from four Wichita boys staring down a bunch of Hollywood cowboys.


Issue Date: March 8 - 15, 2001

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