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Published: 2007/02/22

Split Lip Rayfields Kirk Rundstrom Passes Away at 38

Last February, Split Lip Rayfield announced that it would cancel its upcoming tour because guitarist Kirk Rundstrom had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Earlier today, Rundstrom passed away at his home in Wichita, Kansas as a result of the disease. Rundstrom, who described the bands music in a 2005 interview as aggressive acoustic rock and roll with bluegrass instruments, performed both guitar and dobro with the group. Split Lip Rayfield began as a trio with Rundstrom, Eric Mardis on banjo and Jeff Eaton on one-string bass, while Wayne Gottstine joined on vocals and mandolin the following year.

On its website the band writes, Anybody who knew Kirk knew that he had more zest than all of us. He truly had an ethereal spirit. We have been proud and impressed with the way he went out on his own terms. It wasnt easy, it wasnt fair and it sure as hell isnt right but he was an inspiration. We love him and will miss him.

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