Walker Roaders Return With Booming Cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Smokestack Lightning’
The Walker Roaders — the supergroup featuring ex-members of the Pogues, Flogging Molly, and Dropkick Murphys — have released a new cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning.”
The cover finds the Walker Roaders using a banjo to deliver the song’s iconic blues riff, while later bits of acoustic guitar and accordion float over the clattering percussion. The track arrives with a music video that blends archival footage — including some of Howlin’ Wolf — with shots of frontman James Fearnley singing “Smokestack Lightning” in his resonant baritone.
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Walker Roaders’ cover of “Smokestack Lightning” marks their first bit of new music since the release of their 2019 self-titled debut album. The band decided to record the cover after Sandy Roberton, who worked for Chess Records publishing in the late Sixties, had a dream about the Walker Roaders recording the tune. After telling Fearnley and Ted Hutt about the dream, the pair couldn’t resist making it a reality.
Along with Fearnley (who used to play with the Pogues) and Hutt (who used to play with Flogging Molly), the Walker Roaders’ features producer Brad Wood, ex-Dropkick Murphys member Marc Orrell, and drummer Bryan Head. The group is reportedly prepping more material for a second album.
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