Cornelscourt Parish Hall

Cornelscourt Parish Hall
The Location of Foxrock Folk Club

THE 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.

Contact: jeremy.kearney40@gmail.com


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

NUMBER ONE IN NENAGH!

Great to see in the figures gathered by Irish Music Magazine that the CD was the number one best-seller last month in McQuaid's Music Shop in Nenagh, Tipperary. Judging by it's web site, McQuaid's looks like a excellent music shop with an extensive range of musical instruments as well as CDs. Nice to know that such shops are thriving around the country.

In another sign of the fine musical tastes in Tipperary, Noel Fahy has also being playing tracks from the CD on his programme 'The Crooked Road' on Tipperary Midwest Radio.

Of course, Tipperary has a close link to the album anyway as the legendary blues singer, Red Peters, was born in Tipperary town and features on four tracks.


Friday, 22 April 2016

JOHNNY NORRIS - GUITARIST EXTRAORDINAIRE

It has been very interesting to follow the progress of the album on radio stations across the world - from Tipperary Mid West Radio to 2XXFM in Canberra, Australia and many points in between - and to hear what tracks are chosen by particular presenters. One of the aims of the album was to try and reflect the diversity of different musicians and types of music that were featured at the club so I'm very pleased that all 36 tracks from the CD have been played on a radio station at some point.

However it is also interesting to hear which recordings have attracted particular attention and to see that among the musicians one might expect to get a lot of plays, like Luke Kelly, Andy Irvine, Ronnie Drew, Al O'Donnell, etc, the solo guitar tracks of Johnny Norris have been getting a lot of air time.
In particular, his Ragtime Medley, which is a combination of (at least) three ragtime tunes and ends with a blistering version of 'Bill Bailey', has clearly grabbed many listeners attention. On this track the speed and technical virtuosity of his playing is amazing.
As far as I know, this piece and the other track with Johnny singing and playing 'All My Friends Are Gone' (another masterpiece) are the only available recordings of him playing solo.

He also appears on the album with the terrific acoustic blues band, Dirty Dozens, which included another great guitarist, Gerry Doyle, one of Ireland's greatest blues singers, Red Peters and the wonderful harmonica player, Shay Fogarty.

Along with other musicians like Brian Fry, Ed Deane and many more, the blues scene is Dublin in the 1960s and 70s undoubtedly included many highly talented artists (some still playing, I'm pleased to note).

Monday, 11 April 2016

HAVE CD WILL TRAVEL

The 'Live at Foxrock Folk Club' CD is continuing to spread the musical word around the globe. Recently copies have been sent to Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, Japan, Venezeula, the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires and throughout Europe. Incidentally, it's also selling well in Foxrock!

Monday, 28 March 2016

RTE RADIO 'ARENA' PROGRAMME WITH JIM LOCKHART

The folk club and the CD featured on RTE Radio 1 Arts programme 'Arena' on Thursday 24 March and it was a real pleasure to be interviewed by Jim Lockhart of Horslips fame. The band actually played Foxrock on 6 Feb 1972 so Jim had a direct link with the club. The other special thing about the interview was that Eileen Heron, the producer, had gone to considerable trouble to arrange a link, via telephone, with Kevin McCann in Hawaii, as she was fascinated to hear from the 15-year old school boy who had made the original tapes.
It was great to hear Kevin describe in detail of the making of the recordings, including the regular chore involved in carrying the heavy reel-to-reel recorder to and from each session. Of course without such a practical labour of love the CD would not exist.
Jim played a nice selection of three tracks from the CD - Luke Kelly singing 'The Unquiet Grave', 'L'Oiseau' by Supply, Demand and Curve and We 4's version of 'Summertime' featuring the superb vocal by Suzanne Murphy (who unsurprisingly went on the become the principal soprano of the Welsh National Opera).
As an example of how the club encouraged the teenage participants to move from the local to the global (in both musical and lifestyle terms) Kevin also talked about his current home in Hawaii and his involvement in the two biggest optical telescopes in the world at Keck Observatory. Apparently the observatory has been responsible for discovering the majority of new planets found in the last 20 years. However, he couldn't confirm the rumour that due to the loudness of the Horslips gig at the club, the observatory had picked up traces of the noise created then still circulating in space!

The programme can be heard on reply at:
http://www.rte.ie/radio1/arena/programmes/2016/0324/777256-arena-thursday-24-march-2016/?clipid=2140896#2140896

FOXROCK TO AUSTRALIA - 'REBEL CHORUS'


On Radio 2XXFM in Canberra on 19 March, Declan O'Connell presented a whole two-hour episode of his programme 'Rebel Chorus' focused on the folk club. He played a wide range of tracks from the album, including some jazz and blues numbers and the tracks were interspersed with an interview with myself on the line from Newcastle.
Declan worked hard to bring the programme together and I was very pleased with the end result.
It was great to have the opportunity to talk about and reflect on the experience of being part of the club with someone who is so very well versed in the music and the artists who played there and also knew the Dublin scene at that time. I hope the programme's audience in Canberra also found it enjoyable.
Many thanks to Declan, 'Rebel Chorus' and 2XXFM for making it happen.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

'LIVE AT FOXROCK' IS STORMING UP THE CHARTS!

Claddagh Records has the 'Live at Foxrock Folk Club' album at No.6 in its Top Ten of best-selling albums.
http://www.irishmusicmagazine.com/charts/top-10-april-2016/


FOXROCK TO AUSTRALIA

When Declan O'Connell was a young schoolboy in Blackrock, County Dublin in the early 1970s he was unaware of the exciting musical happenings that were taking place at the Foxrock Folk Club a couple of miles up the road. However, many years later and even though he is now living in Canberra, Australia, the folk club (through the 'Live at Foxrock' CD) has caught up with him.
As presenter of the excellent Irish music programme, 'Rebel Chorus' (folk music with a political edge), on Canberra's radio station 2XXFM he heard about the CD and made it one of his top six CDs of 2015.

He is now devoting a whole two-hour programme to the club and its musical and historical legacy which will be broadcast on Saturday 19 March from 10am to 12noon (Australia time), which in the UK and Ireland is 11pm Friday 18 March to 1am Saturday 19 March.
As well as playing many of the tracks from the album, there will be some extra recordings that didn't make the CD. The tracks will be interspersed with an interview with me as a member of the folk club committee and producer of the 'Live at Foxrock' CD.

Livestreaming around the world from the Radio 2XX website: www.2xxfm.org.au/listen).