Jeff Tweedy and Lucero have contributed the final two tracks for the last 7-inch in the Songs for Slim series, a non-profit project created to benefit former Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap, who is still recovering from a massive stroke he suffered last year. To bookend the auction series, the single will be limited to 250 copies, just like the Replacements EP that got the ball rolling back in January. Like all Songs For Slim releases, this 7-inch will be beautifully packaged, hand numbered, signed by the artists and features original artwork from founding Replacements drummer Chris Mars on the picture sleeve. The auction launches Sunday, September 15 at 10 am PST via SongsForSlim.com and will run until September 22.
For the finale of this nine-month long series, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, his son Spencer Tweedy and a few friends offer up a gorgeous version of ”Ballad Of The Opening Band,” Slim’s touching paean to opening acts far and wide. Recorded in Wilco’s Chicago studio, Tweedy’s beautifully nuanced vocal performance taps right into the emotional heart of this poignant, insightful song, one clearly borne out of years of first hand experience from both sides of the microphone. Spencer Tweedy’s understated but expert drumming and a lovely multi-tracked vocal arrangement by Tweedy Sr. are highlights of this knockout cover of one of Slim’s most adored creations. Tweedy has a special connection to Slim that is especially appropriate for this song, dating way back to a long forgotten 1991 tour when Tweedy’s former band, Uncle Tupelo, opened for The Replacements on a few east coast dates. Years later, Tweedy famously quipped, “Everything we do is based on The Replacements” right before a cover of “Color Me Impressed” during a legendary 1997 Wilco live show in San Francisco.
On the flip side of the 7-inch, soulful Tennessee rockers Lucero kick the doors down with a smokin’ take – Memphis style – on Slim’s classic uptempo rocker, ”From the Git Go.”Recorded in Memphis and produced by Chris Scott, the Lucero gang, ably assisted by local horn vets Jim Spake and Scott Thompson, conjure up a raucous, giddy version of a song that always electrified live audiences when Slim and his band played it. Lucero and their evolving sound are a perfect fit for “Git Go” – this rock/soul hybrid sports a punchy horn chart and capably threads the needle between the genres that have made Memphis famous over the years, even evoking fond memories of The Replacements’ explorations into that territory with their visit to Ardent Studios in 1986/7 and the resulting Jim Dickinson-produced Pleased to Meet Me album.
Last month’s auction of the Patterson Hood/ The Young Fresh Fellows single was another rousing success. Almost 350 bidders raised $7185 for Slim and his family. This was the third highest total for a SFS 7″ auction, barely missing (by less than $19) the #2 slot, held by July’s Frank Black & The Suicide Commandos / You Am I single.
A CD compilation of all the various Songs For Slim releases (plus exciting bonus tracks) is nearing completion. More details will be announced soon.
Reminder: all Songs For Slim releases, including the special Record Store Day release, are now available digitally via iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
Don’t forget about the Songs For Slim online store, which is selling t-shirts, slip mats, bracelets and necklaces, with specially priced bundles also available. Like all SFS projects, all proceeds go towards assisting Slim and his family.