Monday, March 6, 2006
Quite a lot has changed in Wayne Gottstine's life within the past year. Last June he quit his former band Split Lip Rayfield. His longtime friend and former band mate Kirk Rundstrom was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in February. And he reunited after 15 years with his former band the Sluggos.
"I ran into Doug (Zan Es) at a bar in Wichita about a year ago and we began playing again in his basement ever since," says Gottstine.
Compared to Split Lip Rayfield's kick-you-in-your-teeth, whiskey-guzzling bluegrass, the Sluggos are relatively straightforward pop-rock with a touch of folk, explains Gottstine. He has also changed instruments from his finger pickin' mandolin to an electric guitar with the Sluggos.
Gottstine says he quit Split Lip Rayfield last June because he had a lot of serious life obligations that were more important that continually touring with his former band.
"Playing with the Sluggos has been great, getting together with some old friends and playing music," says Gottstine.
Gottstine still keeps in touch with all of the members of Split Lip Rayfield. He says he talks to Rundstrom regularly and his spirits are high despite receiving chemotherapy treatment without medical insurance.
The Sluggos will be playing a benefit show for Rundstrom on April 1 at the Orpheum Theatre in Wichita along with Scroatbelly, Steve Barns, Freedy Johnston and Black Gasoline.
The two remaining members of Split Lip Rayfield, Eric Mardis and Jeff Eaton, have begun a Midwest benefit tour for Rundstrom that will come to the Bottleneck on March 24.
The original Sluggos played from 1990 to '92 and the only original members still remaining are Gottstine and Carmody. The modern-day Sluggos include Mitch Clay (bass), former member of Gottstine and Rundstrom's band Scroatbelly, Doug Zan Es (drums) and Michael Carmody (guitar).