My favorite punk-bluegrass band, Split Lip Rayfield, is closing up shop. From an e-mail:
Kirk Rundstrom, whose battle with esophageal cancer has been well-chronicled, will retire from live performance following two final Kansas shows – one in Lawrence on Dec. 1st, and the other in Wichita on Dec. 8th. He continues to fight this devastating disease and has chosen to stop performing altogether to concentrate on doing whatever he can do to restore his health. While the immediate musical plans of Jeff Eaton, Wayne Gottstine and Eric Mardis remain undecided, they’ve agreed that Split Lip Rayfield will not continue to perform in any incarnation following these shows.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make their final Los Angeles show on Nov. 18.
Billie and I only ever saw them perform once — and we became instant fans — when the band opened for Dave Alvin in Santa Barbara in late August 2001. They put on a great show, too.