It’s only Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson, but the legendary Minneapolis punks the Replacements are back together and about to release some new music. The pair recently got together in a Minneapolis studio and spent a day knocking out an EP of covers. The extremely limited 10″ will benefit Slim Dunlap, the former Replacements guitarist who suffered a stroke earlier this year.
Westerberg tells Rolling Stone that he and Stinson, with drummer Peter Anderson and bassist Kevin Bowe, recorded four covers: Dunlap’s own “Busted Up,” Hank Williams’s “Lost Highway,” Gordon Lightfoot’s “I’m Not Sayin’,” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” from the Broadway musical Gypsy. They’re only printing up 250 copies of the EP, and they’ll auction off all of them online.
Replacements drummer Chris Mars is refusing to take part in the project, of which Westerberg says, “I was not surprised, but I was a little disappointed.”
The Replacements broke up in 1991, though they got back together in 2006, with Mars included, to record a couple of new songs for a best-of collection. Guitarist Bob Stinson died in 1995.
Talking to Rolling Stone, Westerberg says that Dunlap convinced them to get back together: “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.'”
Westerberg is also hinting that the reunion could go beyond the EP: “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.”