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.

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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