Members of The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys & Flogging Molly Come Together as The Walker Roaders
In the course of a widely celebrated thirty-year career, the sound of seminal London-Irish band The Pogues launched a generation of rowdy and explosive Celtic-Punk bands. James Fearnley, co-founder and long-time accordion player in that legendary group, has now teamed with two of its most notable devotees, Flogging Molly co-founder and Grammy Award-winning producer Ted Hutt and Dropkick Murphys' multi-instrumentalist Marc Orrell, forming The Walker Roaders whose music splices anthems of Celtic-Punk with the exalted poetry of The Pogues. Named for a menacing street gang known to Fearnley as a youth in Manchester, their self-titled debut full length will be released August 23 via Ginger Man/Beverly Martel label group.
The nine-original songs on the album were co-written by Hutt, Fearnley and Orrell with lyrics by Fearnley. Recorded at various Los Angeles studios, it was produced by Hutt with additional musicians including bassist Brad Wood (producer of Liz Phair's 'Exile in Guyville'), fiddle-player Kieran Mulroney (Low And Sweet Orchestra, Cranky George) and drummer Bryan Head (Dick Dale, John Doe, Jill Sobule).
The album spans the genre - from a scathing breakneck ballad of defiance and dread ("Lord Randall's Bastard Son" which hews close to Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"), through songs with spacious melodies, such as the Korea-inspired "Seo Yun" telling a tale of dispossession and desire, including an homage to Rod Stewart and The Faces (at a latitude well north of balmy as in "Here Comes The Ice") and a tolling waltz - "The Blackbird Only Knows One Song" - drawn from that well in The Pogues' repertoire from which were winched such songs as "Kitty" and "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda."
"I'd come across Ted loads," says Fearnley, "since arriving in Los Angeles years ago - socially, gastronomically, not least musically, beginning with Brad Wood suggesting me to play accordion on an album Ted was producing. It developed from there. Marc, I knew from Dropkick Murphys opening for the Pogues one Christmas. And then he surfaced in L.A. It was an opportunity too good to pass up to bring us together with others I'd played with that had talent, an instrument and an ear."
Performing around Los Angeles for a time The Walker Roaders have not just played the Grand Dame of punk venues in Hollywood - the Palladium on Sunset Boulevard opening for Dropkick Murphys - but the most hipster of venues such as the Hi-Hat in Highland park and Zebulon in Atwater Village, and also, of all places, the birthplace of Flogging Molly: Molly Malone's Irish Pub on Fairfax Ave.
2019 U.S. Tour dates to be announced soon.
Track Listing for The Walker Roaders
1. Lord Randall's Bastard Son
2. Seo Yun
3. Will You Go Lassie Go
4. The Story Has An End
5. A Meteor At A Time
6. Old Tar Road To Sligo
7. The Blackbird Only Knows One Song
8. Here Comes The Ice
9. Turned Out Nice Again