Vive la Bloodshot

Never Make it Home (Bloodshot)

Split Lip Rayfield

By Michael Beaird

Here's a tip for all you day-traders out there...take all your money out of the tech stocks (if you haven't already) and sink it into Bloodshot Records. These guys have a goldmine up there in Chicago and it's just waiting to explode. I don't know what they put in their coffee every morning, but it seems like every time I find a new album to love, it's got the Bloodshot moniker all over it.

This time it's a group from Wichita, Kansas, whose representative quote off the Bloodshot Records website ( is, "If something breaks and you can't fix it with duct tape ... throw it away." Pretty much sums it up for a band that has taken traditional Bluegrass music, put a 12-gauge shotgun up to it and shattered it into a thousand pieces, then reassembled it with two rolls of Wal-Mart's $2.59 duct tape.

Look at it this way: It's Bluegrass, but definitely not in the traditional use of the term. Think bluegrass meets punk rock with a pop sentimentality on NASCAR Sunday at The Backstretch Lounge. Songs like "Movin' to Virginia," a classic tale of lost love, and "Drink Lotsa Whiskey," the staple drinking song, showcase the band's more traditional side. Meanwhile, "Kiss of Death," a song about some serious bad luck with automobiles, and "Record Shop," a four-part harmony gig with a riff that I almost recognize from an old Megadeth song, showcase the band's more diverse influences.

Split Lip Rayfield features Wayne Gottstine on mandolin, Eric Mardis on banjo, Kirk Rundstrom on guitar and Jeff Eaton playing a one-string stand up bass (it's called the "stitch-giver" and is made out of an old car gas tank; you gotta see it to believe it).