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Replacements Reunite for Benefit EP, Record First Songs Since 2006

Michael Buckner, Getty Images

The Replacements have reunited and recorded an EP to benefit former guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke back in February, Rolling Stone reports. The band plans to press 250 copies the four-song, 10-inch vinyl collection and auction them online, where they’re sure to fetch a pretty penny. The record marks the first time since 2006 that the Minneapolis indie heroes have made new music, although drummer Chris Mars evidently did not join frontman Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson for the single-day session.

“Tommy and I strapped on guitars, not a word was said, and bang,” said Westerberg, who founded the group with Mars and the brothers Stinson — Tommy and his guitarist brother Bob — in 1979. “We still rock like murder.”

Backed by drummer Peter Anderson and guitarist Kevin Bowe, a member of Westerberg’s touring band, the reunited ‘Mats knocked out an eclectic set of songs. Alongside Dunlap’s ‘Busted Up,’ the foursome took on Hank Williams’ ‘Lost Highway,’ Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘I’m Not Sayin” and ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses,’ a tune from the Broadway musical ‘Gypsy.’

The last song is perhaps ironic, given that Dunlap, in Westerberg’s estimation, is in “rough shape,” but this story might yield at least one happy ending. Asked whether the EP might lead to future Replacements touring and recording, Westerberg confirmed that it’s “possible.”

“I’m closer to it now than I was two years ago, let’s say that,” he said.

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