“Songs for Slim” Is an All-Star Benefit for the Replacements’ Ailing Guitarist. It’s Good, Too.

Slim DunlapPhoto by Jay Smiley, courtesy of New West Records

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Various Artists
Songs for Slim
New West

This dandy two-CD set is subtitled Rockin Here Tonight: A Benefit Compilation for Slim Dunlap, which says it all. Former Replacements guitarist Bob “Slim” Dunlap suffered a severe stroke in early 2012, prompting friends and admirers to launch a fund dedicated to his care. Songs for Slim is one part of their efforts. Most of the cuts are covers of little-known, ’90s-era Dunlap compositions, which are raucous, funny and tender, and well deserving of belated discovery.

The first disc compiles the 18 tracks originally featured on limited-edition 45s that were auctioned earlier this year. Among the highlights: the reunited Replacements’ “Busted Up”; John Doe’s stomping “Just for the Hell of It”; the swaggering “Ain’t Exactly Good,” from underrated, long-running Australian band You Am I; and Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood’s poignant “Hate This Town.” (There’s also Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and more.) The second disc offers previously unreleased performances, including a dreamy reading of “When I Fall Down” by Replacement Chris Mars, and for you old-timers, there’s “Love Lost,” by The West Saugerties Ale & Quail Club, with none other than Lovin’ Spoonful leader John Sebastian on harmonica.

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