The second round of auctions for the Songs For Slim project ended on February 22 on a positive note as music fans from all around the world once again dug deep to help out Slim Dunlap and his family. The success of Songs For Slim, an innovative charitable project that enables participants to contribute to a worthwhile cause while receiving high quality, super cool collectibles in return, is entirely dependent on the generosity of those with a desire to help Slim face the considerable challenges that lie ahead for him and his loved ones. The SFS team, New West Records and the Dunlaps are awed and humbled at the initial response so far.
The just completed auction of 100 copies of the second SFS single, featuring Steve Earle and Craig Finn proved to be an overwhelming success. Over 300 people bid almost 700 times to raise just over $9000 – an impressive total by any accounting. The top bid (for copy #1) was $355 and 20% of the records went for $100 or more. Physical copies are scheduled to be shipped towards the end of March with worldwide digital availability to follow soon thereafter.
The third Songs For Slim release leads off with Lucinda Williams covering Slim’s signature rocker “Partners in Crime.” Lucindapreviewed her inspired and soulful take on this song live to a Minneapolis audience last month, dazzling them in the process. Joe Henry once again mans the producer’s chair, guiding Lucinda and her band of studio heavyweights (David Piltch, Pete Thomas, Val McCallum, Greig Leisz and Patrick Warren) with the skill and élan he’s become known for in recent years. The other side is Tommy Keene and R. Walt Vincent’s interpretation of “Nowheres Near,” Slim’s brutally honest, wistful ode to the quest for the elusive brass ring. Keene is a bona fide pop master who’s been releasing amazing records for over 30 years and Vincent is a noted producer best known for his work with Pete Yorn and Liz Phair. “Nowheres Near” was recorded in LA by Keene and Vincent who also handled all of the instrumental work themselves. This release will be limited to 100 numbered copies and, like all SFS releases, features original Chris Mars artwork (in this case: “Equilibrium”) and all copies will be signed by Lucinda and Tommy. This auction will run March 15-22.
Next up in April is Minnesota legend Curtiss A (aka the “Dean of Scream”) and The Minus 5 (feat. Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, and John Moen and Nate Query from the Decemberists) working some transcontinental magic on “Rockin Here Tonight,” one of Slim’s greatest achievements in the studio, and local heroes Tim O’Reagan (Jayhawks) and Jim Boquist (Son Volt) (ably assisted by Paul Westerberg) shining their considerable talents on Slim’s magnificent composition, “Cozy,” a “shoulda been” hit if there ever was one.
“I’m Not Saying” (the Gordon Lightfoot via Nico cover) and the rest of the Replacements’ Songs For Slim EP are now being spun at radio stations all over the country. The EP is also now digitally available at iTunes and Amazon; it debuted in the Top 30 on iTunes.