Month: January 2016

Celebrating Des Kelly – the quiet legend of Irish music


He founded The Capitol Showband that scored a number of firsts for Irish bands at home and abroad. He discovered songwriting legend Phil Coulter, he set visionary trad band Planxty on the road to success, he is Des Kelly.

Des Kelly is a legend in the Irish music industry, and among musicians is extremely highly regarded, so much so that an event in his honour is taking place in Galway next month.



Live at Foxrock Folk Club – The Parish Hall Tapes 1970-72 – Irish Times Review

Live at Foxrock Folk Club – The Parish Hall Tapes 1970-72: intriguing snapshot of the folk scene

Live at Folkrock Folk Club
Various Artists
Cornelscourt Records

We’re all aware that the local can be global and vice versa. These archive recordings (from Cornelscourt Parish Hall), offer an occasionally intriguing snapshot of the live folk, jazz and blues scene at that time.

While the sheer volume of recorded material is impressive, the audio quality is often rough, with distortions posing a hazard to the listener wishing to travelthrough the overly-generous double CD of 37 tracks.

But the sweet serendipity of some of the rarer outtakes compensates somewhat, particularly in the four songs by Luke Kelly, a timely reminder of the sheer viscerality of his singing.

Andy Irvine’s contributions are many and inventive, particularly when he summons the spirit of Woody Guthrie in earnest on Talking Dust Bowl Blues.

Al O’Donnell, Sonny Condell and Clawhammer offer further riches to the melée.


Archive: 1991 – LA Times Interview 

Having a Gael Ol’ Time : Irish Folkie Andy Irvine, Who’ll Be in O.C., Likes His Life as It Is


Andy Irvine had an invitation to join the British folk-rock boom of the early 1970s, but his own musical inclinations left him otherwise engaged.

Instead, Irvine, who plays a solo concert Monday at Shade Tree Stringed Instruments in Laguna Niguel, has been content to spend the last 20-odd years exploring new possibilities within the Irish folk tradition.

Speaking from Dublin over the phone recently, Irvine recalled how the promise of rock stardom–or at least something resembling it–presented itself in the late ’60s. He had been playing in a traditional Irish group called Sweeney’s Men when Ashley Hutchings, a founding member of Fairport Convention, proposed merging with Irvine’s group to form a new, rock-oriented folk band.

“We looked at the possibilities of it and decided against it, and (the notion of playing rock music) never came up again,” Irvine said. “I always had difficulties with a drummer. A rock drummer lays down a very specific beat, and it’s hard to get away from.” (more…)