Songs For Slim EP – The Replacements
This 5 track covers EP on New West Records acts as a fund-raiser for Slim Dunlap, former Mats guitarist whose stroke last year has left him with big medical bills and no insurance. Whilst original Replacements Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars are all here Chris only plays on an over-produced solo rendition of Slim’s Radio Hook Word Hit, leaving Tommy and Paul backed on the other tracks by Kevin Bowe on guitars and Peter Anderson on drums. The record has an offhand feel, almost like The Mats gigs in their heyday where whimsical cover versions such as If I Only Had A Brain were de rigeur. Here they take a crack at Everything’s Coming Up Roses, possibly the bands none too subtle message to Slim . Producer Ed Ackerson makes the band sound like they’re in their rehearsal space, and it suits them. Slim’s Busted Up gets a Bo Diddley beat and too much piano. The real gem here is Gordon Lightfoot’s I’m Not Saying, where Paul copies Nico’s phrasing and slips in a little Johnny Thunders reference whilst the band reel off the chords in true beat group style. The following Lost Highway by comparison is little bit ragged, a little bit pub-rock. But it’s heart is the right place, it’s in a good cause and the record is worth having just for I’m Not Saying .