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.


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.