The Replacements are back with their first new recording in 23 years. Songs For Slim is a 5 track EP that’s got indie rock dirt mixed with heartfelt punk rock vocals – the kind of vocals that have been seasoned by years on the road. The EP is a benefit for Slim Dunlap, the former Replacements guitarist who was paralyzed by a stroke in February.
All five tracks are cover songs, including two that Dunlap wrote, a Gypsy show tune, a pre-Warhol Nico oldie, and Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway.” According to Billboard, 250 signed copies of the 10-inch vinyl covers EP raised more than $106,000 through eBay, which will help pay for Slim’s medical bills. Peter Jesperson, the music exec who originally signed and managed the Replacements and spearheaded Songs for Slim, visited Dunlap and played him a few of the early tracks they were working on for the project. “The look in his eye when I was playing him the songs and him hearing all these people singing these songs he’d written that didn’t sell great numbers on his own records … he was very moved,” recalls Jesperson. “Nobody knows if he’s going to get a little better or a lot better,” he continues, “but I believe miracles can happen in some of these situations.”
The Songs for Slim EP was released digitally March 5 and a deluxe 12-inch is due April 16. If you want to contribute to Dunlap’s medical fund, on the 15th of each month Songs for Slim will hold eBay auctions of limited-edition 7-inch splits from numerous other artists. And if you just want to rock out to the Replacements, check out the video below for “Merry Go Round”:
– Adam Greenwald, JACK-FM/Minneapolis