Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson have dusted off the Replacements name to do their first band recording since 1990. Why now? It has to do with helping out their pal, and longtime bandmate Slim Dunlap. Last February, Dunlap suffered a major right brain stroke and spent 9 month hospitalized. While he is home now, he needs constant care from his family and a team of health care professional. Needless to say, insurance isn’t going to cover the long-term expenses.
Songs for Slim is a fund-raising project to help pay for Dunlap medical care. The Songs for Slim releases will start as limited edition 10” vinyl EPs that will be released on specific days. And today is the day for the first offering, which appropriately enough is from his old ‘Mats mates.
The 5-song EP (only 250 numbered EP have been made) feature Westerberg and Stinson covering Dunlap’s “Busted Up” as well as Gordon Lightfoot’s “I’m Not Saying,” the old Hank Williams hit “Lost Highway” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from the Broadway musical Gypsy. The 5th tune has Chris Mars covering Dunlap’s “Radio Hook Word Hit.” Packaged with the EP (and only 250 numbered copies have been made) are such extras as Westerberg, Stinson and Mars’ autographs, photos, artwork and a digital download code.
Playing with Westerberg and Stinson on their recordings (the replacement Replacements, you could say) are drummer Peter Anderson and guitarist Kevin Bowe. Bowe, in case you aren’t familiar, is a very talented Minnesota musician. Last year, he released the terrific Natchez Trace and his earlier album, Restoration, is a roots rock treasure well worth discovering.
The auctions will be happening on eBay (try: http://tinyurl.com/d7btnxw) under the username NewWestAuction (New West Records is administrating this series with the help of Manifest Destiny Music and Motivation Music Management).
Future Songs For Slim releases include a Steve Earle/Craig Finn split single set for Feb. 15 and Lucinda Williams and Tommy Keane each contribute a song for the March 15 offering. The Jayhawks, NRBQ, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Joe Henry, John Doe and Frank Black are among the other artists lined up to contribute. All songs will be available digitally for purchase after the auctions are closed. More information can be found at http://www.songsforslim.com/home/ and http://www.facebook.com/SongsForSlim.
Here’s wishing Slim a fast and easy recovery and that paying for medical bills don’t weigh as a heavy burden.