Split Lip Rayfield, with the Meat Purveyors

After a one-year absence (were they in prison, were they high in the Himalayas studying some form of trance-inducing meditation, were they just hanging out in flat Kansas getting high?), the arse-rippin' bluegrass kamikaze deathray band Split Lip Rayfield is back out on the nation's highways. Somebody call Tom Ridge. Put the National Guard on high alert. See if Pat Robertson has a plan that can save us.

Most civic leaders would as soon hear that an al Qaeda convention is coming to town as to hear that Split Lip Rayfield has been sighted in the vicinity. When this Lawrence, Kansas, all-acoustic outfit that sounds like a cross between Dock Boggs and Slayer takes over a stage, bluegrass Nazis gnash their teeth, cover their ears and bow toward Appalachia while repeating the sacred "there is no god but Bill Monroe" mantra. A purist's worst nightmare, Split Lip Rayfield plays bluegrass-honky-tonk-alt-country-speed-metal music, and the band'll be spewing tracks from its three Bloodshot Records albums when it returns to the Continental Club with Austin's own bluegrass gonzos, the Meat Purveyors. I wouldn't want to be mopping the floor after this one.

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William Michael Smith