Tony Sly—a remarkably talented musician and songwriter, longtime frontman in the seminal California punk band No Use For A Name, beloved husband and father, and cherished friend—is a wonderful artist and human being gone too soon from this world. Having passed away on July 31, 2012 at the age of forty-one, Tony Sly’s sudden absence was felt keenly by fans, friends and music colleagues the world over as a ragged and gaping hole in the fabric of their collective existence. And that couldn’t be more evident in the new twenty-six-track Tony Sly compilation on Fat Wreck Chords. But its purpose is not to lament Sly's passing. Decidedly a deeply touching gesture from the many and varied artists involved in the project, it is a tremendously appropriate way to celebrate the life and music career of one of punk rock’s favored sons.
“The Songs of Tony Sly: A Tribute” is comprised of twenty-six cover songs chosen directly from Sly’s extensive repertoire, and played by artists that not only called themselves friends and fans of Tony Sly but have also been influenced to some degree by his valuable musical offerings to the punk scene over the years. Much like Tony Sly himself, the contributing bands and singer/songwriters for this tribute are some of the scene’s most admired and respected, like Strung Out, NOFX, Rise Against, Mad Caddies, Bad Religion, Snuff, Bouncing Souls, Teenage Bottlerocket, Lagwagon, Pennywise, Frank Turner, Get Dead, Alkaline Trio, Anti-Flag, Swingin’ Utters, Old Man Markley, and others. And what these artists have done here is more than a bunch of genuine and outstanding Tony Sly covers; it is capturing the heart and soul of Tony Sly’s inspiring music, as well as the equally inspiring character of a man whose life was rich with loved ones and meaningful experiences and great music. To be sure, his is a life worth celebrating. And that’s exactly what these bands and singer/songwriters have done by covering his songs.
All profits from the sale of “The Songs of Tony Sly: A Tribute” will go towards The Tony Sly Memorial Fund, which has been established as a means to assist Sly’s wife and daughters. A worthy cause, if ever there was one. And for all the amazing music Tony Sly gave the world in his lifetime, the least the world can do is give a little something back. So show your support. And let it be known that he will never be forgotten.