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What do a gas tank, chapped lips and music have in common? They all tell a part of bluegrass-rock-country hybrid band, Split Lip Rayfield’s story.
Split Lip Rayfield started in 1995 and now they are coming to Columbia on April 19 to perform at Mojo’s. Although Split Lip Rayfield plays the usual bluegrass instruments, they do have one that makes them stand out — the homemade gas tank bass.
Jeff Eaton, bassist for Split Lip Rayfield, made the gas tank bass out of $25 worth of materials — $25 that has lasted for 16 plus years. It even has the nickname “The Stitchgiver.” Mandolin player, Wayne Gottstine, jokes that you need a tetanus shot before playing the thing.
When asked what his most memorable tour experience was, Gottstine immediately asked if Vox were a family publication. If that isn’t an answer, then I don’t know what is.
Although the band is all about having a good time, things turned for the worst when guitarist Kirk Rundstrom was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. The band took a short break, but in the end Rundstrom wanted to keep touring. And he did; up until two weeks before his passing.
Rundstrom’s memory will live on through Split Lip Rayfield’s newest album I’ll Be Around. The album serves as a tribute for the guitarist that Gottstine describes as “his boy.”
In regards to future plans, Gottstine says that he has some things up his sleeve, but of course, his lips are sealed.
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