Sign up for newsletter
 

Split Lip Rayfield's Rundstrom dies

Thursday, February 22, 2007 – Kirk Rundstrom, the singer/songwriter/guitarist for Split Lip Rayfield and Scroat Belly, passed away Thursday after a lengthy and heroic battle against cancer.

A statement from the 38-year-old Kansas native's label, Bloodshot, said, "Kirk was, without debate, one of the most dynamic and passionate performers we have ever seen. To see him on stage was to see a man totally focused on, totally POSSESSED with, the music of the moment. He never ever took his audience for granted and delivered the goods with a ferocious energy that flowed through the room. I had personally seen him play some 75 times, and it was never boring, it was never phoned in, and it was hard to take my eyes off him. If you left a show of theirs without sweating, without losing yourself in the joyous abandon of music, it wasn't from his lack of trying. Standing still at a Split Lip show just wasn't an option. His gift was the ability to let rock and roll well up from its purest emotional state and give it to the room in all its liberating glory."

"When Kirk was diagnosed last spring, he was given just a few months. It is a testimony to his incredible spirit that he was performing into this month," the statement said. "The fans that came out during this time filled the venues with palpable love. To have played a part in this accumulation of affection, in this tight knit community of Split Lip lovers, over the years is truly a humbling honor. He loved playing and it showed, and the fans loved him back."

The band, which also included Eric Mardis and Jeff Eaton, played revved up bluegrass.

CD reviews for Split Lip Rayfield

I'll Be Around CD review - I'll Be Around
The bluegrass-folk band Split Lip Rayfield has been around for 14 years, and this album - the first since the passing of Kirk Rundstrom in February 2007 - does nothing to dissuade listeners that it's run out of innovativeness or chops. Although the opening toe-tapper Rig Or Cross isn't the sort of Ricky Skaggs barnburner some might want, the group keeps it slow but steady pace on the sweet All The Same and the faster but non-frantic Aces High. With bands such as Canadian group Elliott »»»
Should Have Seen It Coming
It's been six years since their debut, so the novelty aspects of Split Lip Rayfield's composition aren't nearly as novel as they used to be, but they're still wickedly interesting talking points; guitarist Kirk Rundstrom doing double duty in alt.-country screamers Scroatbelly as well as SLR, mandolinist Wayne Gottstine's blazing speed, banjoist Eric Mardis' other job as a death metal guitarist and Jeff Eaton's legendary gas tank basses, strung with a single weedwhacker cord. »»»
Never Make It Home
What if Hank Williams had become a part of Andy Warhol's Factory? That bizarre supposition doesn't begin to approach the reality of Split Lip Rayfield, one of Bloodshot's most original and creative bands. The Kansas quartet is hillbilly right down to its stocking feet, but filters its bluegrass affectations through the purest rock love, and it doesn't aim to screw up its fascinating formula on its third album. SLR plays within an amazingly pure bluegrass context, but undercoats everything with »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: These Eagles keep songs alive and well – The newly reconfigured Eagles lineup, which now includes Vince Gill and Deacon Frey in place of the late Glenn Frey, hasn't changed its set much since this modified grouping's debut at Dodger Stadium in 2017. Don Henley announced from the outset, though, how the group continues to tour primarily so it can keep the Eagles' many great songs alive.... »»»
Concert Review: Lovett could not have scripted it any better – Cerritos is a fair distance from Hollywood, but Lyle Lovett, who has accumulated a long list of acting credits, sometimes seemed like he was giving a company town performance this night. Maybe it was because Paul Reiser, the "Mad About You" star, introduced Lovett with a funny bit about what some of the man's songs mean (or don't mean).... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
Cry Pretty CD review - Cry Pretty
Carrie Underwood's life was reading straight from the storybooks: one of the few American Idol Winners with ongoing success; a professional athlete for a husband; a beautiful baby boy. The string of great fortune turned sharply in 2017, »»»
My Way CD review - My Way
Not one to rest on his laurels, Willie Nelson's second studio release of the calendar year finds the artist dipping back into the Great American Songbook. Previous collections, including 1978's stellar Stardust, 2009's "American Classic" and 2016's "Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin," established Nelson as one of the finest modern interpreters of American standards.  »»»
Let It Pass CD review - Let It Pass
This is the swan song for The Stray Birds unfortunately, but at least they are parting with another musical triumph. This record barely got made as founding members, fiddler/guitarist/banjoist/vocalist Maya de Vitry and fiddle/guitarist/ »»»
Pretty Bird CD review - Pretty Bird
"Pretty Bird" is Kathy Mattea's first studio album in six years, following 2012's "Follow Me Home." The major reason for this gap was Mattea's realization that her voice was changing so much, she felt as if she was losing it altogether.  »»»