The Replacements reunite to record vinyl-only covers EP, new album ‘possible’

Photo via PaulWesterberg.com

The Replacements — namely Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson — have reunited to record four cover songs for an ultra-limited, vinyl-only EP that will be auctioned off later this year to raise money to help pay for the medical expenses of former bandmate Slim Dunlap, who suffered a debilitating stroke earlier this year

Word that the duo was working together again first emerged over the summer, but Westerberg this week offered details to Rolling Stone, and left the door open to a more expansive reunion: “It’s possible. After playing with Tommy last week, I was thinking, ‘All right, let’s crank it up and knock out a record like this.’ I’m closer to it now than I was two years ago, let’s say that.”

According to Rolling Stone, Westerberg and Stinson spent a day together last month in a Minneapolis studio recording covers of Dunlap’s “Busted Up,” “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from the Broadway hit “Gypsy,” Gordon Lightfoot’s “I’m Not Sayin’” and Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway.” The tracks will be pressed on 10-inch vinyl, and all 250 copies will be auctioned off.

‘Mats drummer Chris Mars didn’t want to participate — he’s already recorded his own benefit track — so the lineup was rounded out by drummer Peter Anderson and guitarist Kevin Bowe.

Westerberg said he was persuaded by Dunlap: “He’s in rough shape. He’s sort of paralyzed, he can move his leg a little bit. When I mentioned this, it seemed like something he really wanted to happen. ‘You guys get together,’ he said in a whisper. ‘Go play a song.’”

The new EP isn’t the first reunion for the two ex-Replacements. In 2006, they recorded a pair of new songs — with Mars lending backing vocals, but not playing drums — for the best-of set Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was? That same year, Stinson played bass on a couple songs Westerberg recorded for the soundtrack to the animated film “Open Season.”

 

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