A Conversation with James Fearnley

Episode 62 · November 20th, 2023 · 47 mins 48 secs

About this Episode

Thirty years ago, I popped in If I Should Fall From Grace with God by the London-Irish punk band the Pogues, and my life changed forever. I was 17, socially awkward, and a bit of a loner, but discovering the Pogues opened a whole world for me. Finding their brand of traditional Irish music blended with punk rock was like discovering a new home—comfortable yet dangerous, familiar yet mysterious. So it is such a tremendous honor to welcome Pogues founding member and accordion player James Fearnley to For Songs. James, hailing from outside Manchester, England, joined the band at the beginning, enlisted because if he could play the piano, surely he could play the accordion. I spoke with James via Zoom from his L.A. home. We tackle a few obligatory Pogues questions but spend most of our time discussing James’ latest venture, The Walker Roaders. The Walker Roaders, which released their first record in August 2019, are a Celtic punk supergroup, featuring not only James from the Pogues, but Ted Hutt from Flogging Molly and Marc Orrell from the Dropkick Murphys. We talk about the band’s songwriting prowess, lessons James has picked up from being around amazing artists like Shane MacGowan, Jem Finer, Joe Strummer, among others. Yeah, you’re gonna wanna listen to this one. So sit back, grab a pint (or two) and welcome James Fearnley to For Songs.