LIVE: Tommy Stinson @ Club Helsinki, 1/15/13

Cameron Melville, Ryder Cooley, Tommy Stinson and Chip Roberts

Cameron Melville, Ryder Cooley, Tommy Stinson and Chip Roberts

Story and photo by Tim Livingston

You gotta love it when you attend an open mic on a Tuesday night and a rock star – one of your favorite artists to boot – shows up and plays!

That is exactly what happened to us at Club Helsinki on Tuesday. There to see our friend Ryder Cooley, who co-hosts the weekly event with Helsinki’s own Cameron Melville, when all of a sudden rock & roll legend Tommy Stinson strolls through the door along with his running partner, the incomparable slide/lap steel player Chip Roberts, signs up and closes out the night with a stunning four-song set including one new, never-played-before original!

Preparing for the upcoming “Home Bass: 4 Strings, 4 Hearts” Habitat for Humanity benefit show, that Tommy is a part of on Sunday, January 27 at Club Helsinki, he decided to use the open mic forum to work out some material. Don’t want to give too much away before that show, but Tommy, accompanied by Chip on searing lap steel, Ryder on saw/accordion and Cameron winging it to perfection on B3 organ, ran through a couple of gems from his latest album One Man Mutiny, a killer brand new original and a great, unexpected cover song. Yeah, gotta love it!

A benefit concert of Habitat to Humanity, “Home Bass: 4 Strings, 4 Hearts” features Tommy Stinson as well as Melissa Auf Der Maur, Meshell Ndegeocello and Melora Creager. The concert takes place at Club Helsinki in Hudson at 7pm on Sunday, January 27. Tickets are $20, $30 & $50.

Stinson and Paul Westerberg also reunited to record “Songs For Slim,” a five-song, 10-inch EP that’s being billed as the first new Replacements release since 1990. Pressed on vinyl, a limited edition of just 250 copies are being auctioned off online to benefit Replacements’ guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke last year.

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