Cornelscourt Parish Hall

Cornelscourt Parish Hall
The Location of Foxrock Folk Club


As Luke Kelly remarked when he played the club in December 1972, a folk club in the suburb of Foxrock was a somewhat unlikely combination. Probably even more unlikely was the fact it was organised and run by teenagers and managed to attract to Foxrock some of the biggest names on the Irish music scene (see Folk Club History & "Local and Visiting Artists").

The aim of the Foxrock Folk Club Project is to (1) research the history of the club (2) develop a club archive and (3) create a space in which people who played at the club or attended some of the sessions can share their memories of what was an unique musical and cultural experience.


Wednesday, 30 December 2015


That was Niall Toner's comment at the end of Luke Kelly's Foxrock Folk Club recording of 'The Unquiet Grave' which he played on his RTE show, Roots Freeway, last Saturday night (Stephen's Day). He said that he had actually been there that night in December 1972 to hear Luke's performance and a very special night it was too.
Niall was full of praise for the album and the range and diversity of the recordings on it. To illustrate this he also played Johnny Norris's virtuoso guitar performance on his Ragtime Medley - three, or is it four? -, ragtime pieces run together. As Niall said, this recording could be an early field recording from the 30s or 40s, so authentic is the playing.
The third track he played was 'Blues in the Bottle' with Red Peters and Brian Fry and he rightly introduced Red Peters as 'one of the greatest Blues singers ever produced in this country'.

It was great to hear these tracks from the album on Niall's programme as Roots Freeway is a wonderful show with terrific music of all kinds. In a way 'roots' music is a very good description of the different types of music on the album as all the tracks are 'rooted' in the early traditions of folk, trad, blues and jazz (listen to the Butler Fox band and 'Swingin' the Blues' to hear what a South Dublin 'speakeasy' sounded like).

For those who weren't lucky enough to be at the club (and even those who were) put on the CD, close your eyes and listen to the music of the time 'as live as it gets'.

This edition of Roots Freeway can be heard again on the RTE Radio web site at!rii=9:10507887:3104:26-12-2015:

Thursday, 10 December 2015


The 'Live at Foxrock Folk Club' album sales are going very well with a number of shops looking for further stock.
Remember it makes the perfect Christmas gift so buy now and don't be disappointed.
The album is available in Ireland from Tower Records, Claddagh and HMV (both from shops and their on-line stores) and also from Amazon and iTunes.
In the UK and worldwide, the album is available from as well as / and iTunes.


Declan O'Connell, originally from Blackrock in Dublin but now living in Canberra, Australia, is planning to feature 'Live at Foxrock Folk Club' in his programme, 'Rebel Chorus', on the Canberra station 2XXFM on Friday 10 December at 11pm (UK/Irish time). I'm delighted to hear that the programme is about his six favourite albums of 2015 and 'Live at FFC' is one of these (quite an accolade considering that one of his other favourites is 'The Joy of Living', the commemorative album celebrating Ewan MacColl's centenary, which has a stellar cast of artists including Peggy Seeger, Norma Waterson, Martin and Eliza Carthy, Damian Dempsey, The Unthanks and more).

There is live streaming of the programme at from 11 pm, Friday 11 December to 1 am, Saturday 12 December.


Noel Casey including two tracks from the CD as part of his excellent and musically eclectic programme, 'After Midnight', last Monday night / Tuesday morning on Dublin City FM. The songs featured the great blues singing of Red Peters with guitarist Brian Fry on 'Alberta' and a blues harp/vocal duo on 'Louise, Louise Blues' with Shay Fogarty, a member of Dirty Dozens.
The Dirty Dozens played the club on two or three occasions and for many of us, it was our first experience of hearing live, raw, early blues - a never to be forgotten event.
An essential part of the sessions were Red's informative, but also hilarious, introductions to songs. One memorable intro was to the song 'I Got Fooled' where his explanation of the story of sexual misadventure ended with the summary that the main character was 'caught frolicking and cavorting around the living room'.

Monday, 7 December 2015


The 'Live at Foxrock' album will be featured on Dublin City FM again tonight/tomorrow morning on Noel Casey's splendid programme 'After Midnight' which runs from midnight on Monday to 2am Tuesday. He always plays a wide selection of musical styles from rock, blues, folk, country and more.
It looks as if he will be playing a couple of Red Peters tracks.
Keep up with the programme on the 'After Midnight' facebook page 

Friday, 4 December 2015


John O'Regan of Limerick City Community Radio spoke very postiively about the album and the club on his radio programme 'Eclectic Celt' on Sunday 29 November. He also played the Al O'Donnell track Avondale.
The podcast of the programme can be heard here:  
and the material on the club is about 10 minutes in. More tracks are promised for future programmes.

On his 'Blues Train' programme on Dublin City FM last Sunday, Charlie Hussey played a couple of the blues tracks from the album - Johnny Norris singing the Rev Gary Davis song 'All My Friends Are Gone' and Red Peters and Brian Fry version of 'Alberta'. Charlie also gave due credit to Kevin McCann and his reel-to-reel tape recorder.
It was good to hear Charlie dedicate the tracks to the amazing Larry Roddy who did some much to encourage the development of the blues scene in Dublin in the 60s and 70s and beyond. In the mid 60s with Red Peters and some others he formed the Irish Blues Appreciation Society which was based in Slatterys of Capel Street and then organised many concerts with leading American blues artists.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015


Many thanks to Barry Somerville for the great idea.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Luke Kelly and others: Rare and Previously Unreleased Recordings

As well as the rare recordings of Irish blues artists on the 'Live at Foxrock' album*, there are also a number of previously unreleased tracks by leading Irish singers and musicians.
These include:
- the only available recording of Luke Kelly singing 'Blackwaterside', which also has Sean Potts on the tin whistle in the background. This pairing came about because The Chieftains and Luke Kelly were on the same bill at the club (it was some night!) and Luke spontaneously invited Sean to join him on stage
- The Andy Irvine original, 'Noddy's Little Red Car', and a recording of Andy playing Woody Guthrie's 'Talking Dust Bowl Blues'
- Al O'Donnell singing 'Rigs O' Rye' which is not on his two albums that came out in the 1970s
- Supply, Demand and Curve only recorded one album so the two tracks on this CD - 'L'Oiseau' and 'The Sailor Came Home From the Sea' are also rarities.

*A great recording of rare recordings by Red Peters came out on the Blue Navigator label in 2013, 'Red Peters: Rare Recordings 1968-1989', and this includes Red with both acoustic and electric bands, as well as a recording of an interview he gave to RTE in 1981. Well worth seeking out.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Foxrock Folk Club on the Radio

The Dublin Blues scene in the late 1960s and early 70s featured some terrific blues artists but sadly there are not many recordings of their work from that time. One of the good things about the 'Live at Foxrock' album is that it includes live tracks by a number of these performers including Red Peters, Brian Fry, Johnny Norris, Gerry Doyle and Shay Fogarty. Some of these tracks are going to be played tomorrow night (Sunday) on Charlie Hussey's great blues programme, 'Blues Train', on Dublin City FM at 10pm.  The whole programme is well worth a listen.

The album has already been played on a couple of other Dublin City FM programmes. Peter Grogan's 'It's All in the Song' featured four tracks from the album, one of which was 'Blues in the Bottle' with Red Peters and Brian Fry. The Monday night show, 'Trad at Heart', presented by Ken Touhy played Al O'Donnell's 'Avondale' and Andy Irvine's 'Jack Tar'.
Living in Newcastle upon Tyne I hadn't really been aware of the fantastic range of music programmes on Dublin City FM but I was delighted to find that I could listen to the programmes live on-line.

'Avondale' was also played on Frank Hennessy's folk show, 'Celtic Heartbeat', on BBC Radio Wales.

As well as tomorrow night's programme, listen out for more tracks from the album across a range of radio stations.

Friday, 20 November 2015

The CD Launch for 'Live at Foxrock Folk Club'

The launch event for the 'Live at Foxrock Folk Club' took place on Tuesday night in Whelan's and it was a great night. There were lots of 'Foxrock Folks' (as Luke Kelly called us all those years ago), i.e. those of us who were on the committee and organised the club, including my brother Phil, Una, Clodagh, Rick, Pete, Carol, Ray and Roddy and there many more who would liked to have been there.
By happy coincidence, Tuesday night would have been Luke Kelly's 75th birthday so I was delighted that two of his brothers, Jimmy and John, were able to attend. There were also a number of family members of the artists involved including Brian Fry's daughter, Emma, and Red Peters wife, Frances.
Many of the organisers and participants in the early Dublin folk club scene came along and there were people who had set up and played in the Dublin Ballad Club, the Coffee Kitchen, the Universal, the Auld Triangle, the Neptune, the Green Linnet and the Swamp. Some of these people continue to play in present-day clubs such as the Phoenix and the Tarred and Feather Club and at sessions throughout Dublin.
Leo O'Kelly gave an entertaining presentation on the folk club scene of the day and his first appearance at Foxrock which involved a birthday cake, two young women and the opportunity cost of having to fulfil his engagement at the club. He then played a beautiful, recently written song which related to the equal marriage debate and joined with Sonny Condell for a wonderful version of Sonny's classic song from the early 70s, Time is Like a Promise.
Gerry Doyle, one of the lead guitarists from the classic acoustic Blues group, the Dirty Dozen, remembered the early blues scene in Dublin. He recalled being telephoned out of the blue by Red Peters to join his band and the sessions with international blues greats, such as Big Boy Crudup, that were organised by the creative and greatly missed Larry Roddy. He then played a sweet version of Dylan's Don't Think Twice and the other Dirty Dozen guitarist, Johnny Norris, arrived just in time after work to demonstrate his undiminished guitar-playing skills on Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out.
Throughout the evening a number of tracks were played from the CD and on the sound system of Whelan's they came across brilliantly. Credit for this must first be given to the 15-year old schoolboy, Kevin McCann, who made the original recordings on his reel-to-reel tape recorder, and by judicious placement of the two microphones managed to get a excellent stereo sound. The tapes were then put on CD by Johnny 'Oldhitz' Hughes in Newcastle upon Tyne, who took great care to preserve the original material. Finally, the CDs were restored and mastered by sound engineer (and jazz drummer), Adam Sinclair, again in Newcastle, to produce the final tracks that are of very high quality but maintain the live feel of the original recordings.
Many thanks to all who attended and participated to make it such a special occasion.

Monday, 16 November 2015


The unique compilation of recordings from the 1970s made at the Foxrock Folk Club are now available worldwide.
The double CD 'Live at Foxrock Folk Club: The Parish Hall Tapes 1970 - 72' with 36 tracks and 16 page booklet can now be purchased in Ireland from:

HMV / Tower Records / Claddagh Records / Freebird Records / Mojo Records

And in the UK and worldwide from: / / / iTunes

Buy now while stocks last!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Interview with Dublin City FM

I was interviewed last night by Peter Grogan of Dublin City FM for his Saturday lunchtime programme 'It's All in the Song'. We talked about the development of the club, the artists who played there and the excitement of the Irish musical context of the time. As part of the programme he played three tracks from the album one each by Al O'Donnell, Sonny Condell and Luke Kelly.
The programme will be broadcast from 12 noon to 1pm tomorrow, Saturday 14th November. It can be played live on-line from the Dublin City FM web site.

Thursday, 29 October 2015


Here are the track listings for the 'Live at Foxrock Folk Club' CD

The album is due for release on 10th November and will be available from
Claddagh Records, HMV and other record stores in Ireland
From Birnam CD Online in the UK
and on Amazon and iTunes

Friday, 16 October 2015


The Foxrock Folk Club was a musical and social phenomenon that ran from 1969 to 1973 in the Parish Hall in Cornelscourt, near Foxrock. Organised and run by local teenagers, during its short life the club presented many of the biggest names in Irish traditional and folk music, jazz and blues, poetry and the arts. However, by a fortunate twist of fate many of the sessions at the club were recorded by a teenage schoolboy with a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The tapes brilliantly captured the spirit of the times, which included a huge burst of creative energy among Irish musicians, creating a unique collection of live recordings. For the first time a selection of these recordings are now being made available on CD. They include:
·     Rare, and in some cases, previously unreleased recordings by traditional and folk musicians like Luke Kelly, Andy Irvine, Ronnie Drew, Al O'Donnell, Sonny Condell and Dónal Lunny
·        Live recordings of legendary Dublin blues artists like Red Peters, Brian Fry, Johnny
      Norris and the acoustic band, the Dirty Dozens
·        Tracks by one of Ireland's finest traditional and mainstream jazz bands, the Butler Fox Jazz Band, led by Rock Fox and Phil Butler
·        The unique Irish progressive group, Supply Demand and Curve
·        And highly popular musicians and groups like We 4, Danny Doyle and The Gingermen.

To be released in November 2015 on Cornelscourt Records (CR 001)

Release date and more information available soon.