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Never Make It Home

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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1 new from CDN$ 73.83 3 used from CDN$ 52.80

Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 1 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bloodshot Ltd.
  • ASIN: B0000589GN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #260,142 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Movin' To Virginia
2. Record Shop
3. Never Make It Home
4. Thief
5. Love Please Come Home
6. Used To Call Me Baby
7. PB24SS
8. Kiss Of Death
9. Drink Lotsa Whiskey
10. Mister
11. River
12. It's No Good
13. Dime Store Cowboy
14. Day The Train Jumped The Tracks

Product Description


A string band with a mean streak and a standup bass fashioned from a gas tank, Wichita's picking punks earned their reputation by beating tradition into submission. But with Never Make It Home, their third effort, Split Lip discovers that playing it (comparatively) straight can yield satisfying results. This most welcome surprise is spurred by the emergence of Wayne Gottstine, the quartet's flashy but always solid mandolinist, as a stellar singer and songwriter to rival bandleader Kirk Rundstrom. Fans of the Gourds' Jimmy Smith will find a lot to like in Gottstine's handful of tunes, from the jaunty "Movin' to Virginia" to the mopey "Used to Call Me Baby". Elsewhere, Split Lip proves they can still play like they're blowing a tollbooth, especially on another Gottstine original, "River", and the disc's pair of covers, "Love Please Come Home" and "Day the Train Jumped the Tracks". --Anders Smith-Lindall

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Kansas may be the flatest state in the Union, but they've produced some sharp artists through the years. Split Lip Rayfield is just one such, a kick-ass bluegrass ensemble that plays traditional music with one of the sharpest edges out there today. In a day and age when Oh Brother Where Art Thou threatens to trap bluegrass in a Depression-era museum case, Split Lip Rayfield plays string band music for the new milennium.
The only unifyning theme on this album is the undisputed picking power of the artists. It's all string music--no keys, no drums, just strings. But there's no risk of it all sounding the same. From upbeat rockers like Kiss of Death to honky-tonk beauties like Drink Lotsa Whiskey, country chestnuts like Love Please Come Home to iconoclasty like Dime Story Cowboy, this album never gives you a chance to take the band for granted.
Split Lip Rayfield is famous for their live shows, and of course an album can never match up to that. Still, this is shimmy music for Hell's own square-dance. If you want a string band album that will make you jump out of your chair and scream for more, this is it.
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Format: Audio CD
This is get-drunk-and-dance-around-naked music from my favorite speed metal bluegrass band. I've been looking forward to this release ever since I saw them last summer; many of the songs I couldn't get out of my head back then are on this disc. The playing is as taut as ever--aggressive yet loses nothing in pickin' technique. The sounds that Jeff Eaton can coax out of Stitchgiver (the gas tank bass with a weedeater string) never fail to amaze me. Five of the 14 songs are penned by their mandolin player, Wayne Gottstine--including the song has stuck with me since last summer, 'Used to Call Me Baby' -- "Nighttime drives me crazy/I bang my fists on the wall/She used to call me baby/Now she don't call at all." Damn. That's the kind of country blues that makes you sit down with a bottle of whiskey..'Drink Lotsa Whiskey'. Good thing there are plenty of quick-pickin' songs to go around; Kirk Rundstrom's lightning fast playing fits seamlessly with Eric Mardis' relentless banjo on songs like "Thief," "Kiss of Death," and the title track "Never Make It Home." Keep an eye out for them--it's not often you get to headbang to acoustic music.
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Format: Audio CD
I'll admit it - I was worried about Split Lip Rayfield. I enjoyed the one and only Scroat Belly Album - it was dark and dirty; you could almost smell the music. SLR's self-titled debut was a refreshing step in the evolution - you could still smell it, but it felt cleaner. 1999's IN THE MUD, however, stood stagnant, and I really expected SLR to fade into the growing masses of "one-act" alt-country bands. Thank the gods, then, for NEVER MAKE IT HOME.

NEVER MAKE IT HOME is not necessarily a slower affair, but a definite maturity abounds. The entire album is marvelous - standouts include "Movin' to Virginia," "Used to Call Me Baby," and "Drink Lotsa Whiskey" (and check out the lightning-fast solos on "Kiss of Death"). Instead of the trademark (and increasingly tired) fast-and-loose style, SLR move to a fast-and-tight style on this record and approach the mood and expert musicianship exhibited by labelmates Devil in a Woodpile. Combine this with SLR's sly lyricism and you've got an emerging act that not only holds their own against Bloodshot's Meat Purveyors and the aforementioned Devils, but also approaches Waco Brothers territory. I can't wait to hear what's next.
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