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Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Biographical Notes




Dublin City Folk have played weddings, international festivals, and international corporate functions all over the world with the very best Irish and Internationally famous musicians. As well as playing weekly with City Folk, owner Clem Loscher has also taught the guitar and the banjo and is a fully qualified secondary school teacher. He himself was taught by perhaps the greatest banjo player in Ireland, Ciaran Hanrahan, who like Clem also plays a Dave Boyle Banjo. The musical history of the band Dublin City Folk contains the names of many well known and famous musicians. The band are around for the past 20 years or so, and not surprisingly they have played with most of the great musicians of the current generation in Ireland as well as international stars as can be seen in the City Folk biography.


Dublin City Folk



Eamonn Galldubh, now a famous Uileann Piper,  toured with Dublin City Folk at the now famous Paddy’s Point Bar in La Zenia. City Folk were the first band to be asked to play at Paddy’s Point Bar by owner Bernie Commiskey of Westmeath, and were followed by bigger acts such as singer Eileen Reid and her band. The Dublin City Folk Band also played in Alicante, Spain back in 2001 along with one of the most famous Irish dance teachers and exponents of Irish dance, - Corkman - the late great Donnacha O Muineachain R.I.P.  Eamonn, has recorded and played live with artists including Clannad, Riverdance, Moya Brennan, Cara Dillon, Damien Dempsey, Ragus, Hazel O Connor, Rua, Druid Theatre and the RTE Concert  Orchestra as well as writing and recording his own compositions. His band members helped in the recording of City Folks first CD and included musician Fionan De Barra as well as other friends of Galduff. Other famous uileann pipers to play with Dublin City Folk include All-Ireland champions Timmy Doyle, Mathiu O Cassadaigh , Moss Landman and Connor Mc Keown.                                                                                    


Dublin City FolkFIDDLE
Perhaps the best-known fiddle playing family to play with City Folk are the Glacken family from Clontarf. Paddy Glacken, now a producer in RTE as well as a famous musician, and founder member of ‘The Bothy Band’ Along with the band Paddy  helped to produce one of the first records of City Folk way back when Dublin were winning All-Ireland football finals. Strangely, Paddy played the box on that record, possibly a first, on a song entitled ’The Strands of Builtin’ written by Clem,  and his brother Kevin also played with City Folk in Meagher’s famous Dubs pub in Ballybough, beside Luke Kelly bridge, a major media gig where the record ‘Back To The Hill’ was released. The record was funded by ‘Toyota’ Tim O Mahoney, a great Dubs supporter, who after hearing the band sing the song down in bars such as Murphy’s, Sullivans, and O Cathains of  Ballyferriter in Kerry. He gave £1,000 to the project. The gig was attended by Gaelic legendary sporting heroes of Dublin at the time, Jimmy Keaveney, Paddy Cullen and Bobby Doyle.

Great fiddle player Donal O'Connor, of the ‘O'Connor’ musical family has also toured with Dublin City Folk in Spain and other parts of Europe, where the band played in Barcelona (where I recall being robbed) and other Spanish cities before going on to play in Paris. Indeed talk of Paris induces memories of many visits to the European city of art. In point of fact, City Folk hold a record in regard to Paris. The band somehow managed to play and dance and drink in almost every Irish bar in the city - and there are quite a few God help us! At least it was spread over a few years!

Dublin City Folk

 Donal O Connor, Eoin and Clem playing in an Irish  pub

in Paris beside that famous  St Eustace Church -

that was bombed during the war years. What a memory!!

Dublin City Folk

Eamonn Galdubh in Connolly’s ‘The Sheds’ public bar along with left to right Tom Tierney, Treasa Redmond, Tom Cahill, and Grainne Griffen

An early incarnation of ‘City Folk’ with ‘The Mike Murphy Talent Competition’ winner Catherine Coates centre and Fionuala Crehan, fiddle, (Crehan family of Co. Clare) Paddy on the  Banjo, our sax player Gerry on the Flute and Lorraine on the tin whistle. Catherine began her career with us in ‘Slattery’s Of Capel Street where we arrived just as Christy Moore was leaving. Paddy Slattery, the owner, put us downstairs in the cellar, a slight which brought us on no ends as we worked our way to the top - of the pub. Thanks Paddy. We ended up singing a song entitled ‘Oh Paddy Slattery’ to the air of Christy Moore’s more successful - Oh Lisdoonvarna‘.

Dublin City Folk

 Joe Doyle, Tom Tierney, Joey Doyle, Gerry O Brien, and Clem Loscher, upstairs in ‘The Pebble Beach Pub,’ where a traditional Irish music club was established in Clontarf. Clontarf now boasts one of the largest international centres for traditional music in Ireland - ‘An Classac’ on the Alfie Byrne Road.

Another traditional Irish family who played with the band were the O Brien’s including father Dinny and sons Mick and John both of whom have regularly toured with the Riverdance show and other international touring dance shows.  That was in the days when City Folk were playing in local pubs in Clontarf including ‘Connolly’s’ ‘The Sheds’ and ‘The Pebble Beach’ where City Folk started a folk club that successfully lasted for a couple of years. Today the band continue when possible to do a number of charity gigs with Dinny O Brien and with the equally well-known fiddler from Co. Cavan, fiddle teacher the late Tom Tierney, who taught many of the musicians that City Folk ended up playing with as the years past. It’s thanks to Tom for that. I think it was Tom who also introduced us to Kitty O Shea’s pub on the canal where we held a residency for many years. The bar was famous for traditional music. We played here with luminaries such as Treasa Ni Cheannaigh, the late Tony Malone (RIP) and Martin Tourish. The pub was owned by Kevin Loughney. Kevin acted as a sound engineer for a lot of our gigs in Kitty’s and was never short of delivering nourishment for the band. Unfortunately, poor Kitty fell on hard times after it was alleged that Kevin was entertaining excise men from her Majesty’s Customs and Excise tax department, by flying them to and from to Kitty’s in Paris and wining and dining them into the late hours, an allegation which Kevin totally denied calling the claims “outrageous.” Whatever about her Majesty’s excise duty officers, City Folk had many’s a tipple into the early hours in Kitty’s of Paris and of Dublin, not to mention Galway. Dermot Murphy and myself fairly fell out of the Dublin venue on some nights, and sometimes too close to the canal! Another musician who played with us in Kitty’s was the founder member of the Dublin City Ramblers, Kevin Geraghty, a well seasoned singer and great mandolin player. Other places where City Folk and Dermot (formerly of the Ramblers, Moonshine) have had extended residencies, include Mulligan’s of Playa Del Ingles and several other Irish bars in Gran Canaria. Dublin City Folk were one of the first ballad and trad groups from Ireland to visit the Canary islands when they were not so tourist orientated.

Mairead Hughes of the well known  Hughes family with their  ‘Brian Boru Ceile Band’ is another musician and professional caller of ceili’s who regularly plays with musicians from City Folk. Mairead adds a great deal to the band with her bubbly personality and ‘hop til you drop’ attitude to ceili and craic. But she also allows time for the older generation to waltz to music and songs by the band as well as entertaining the younger generation who frequently attend weddings. Two other great ceili callers who have worked with City Folk are the legendary Jimmy Brennan and the late Sean Clerkin. Both have travelled to far flung parts of Ireland at different times with City Folk and have taught us much about dancing and entertainment. That’s not to forget Julie and Jenny who also help out in this department.

Dublin City Folk


Over the years the band played with other well-known and talented musicians such as the accordion player Martin Tourish who has played weddings with City Folk. Folk singer and song collector Barry Gleeson, (brother of actor Brendan Gleeson, a well known fiddle player in his own right,) has also sung with City Folk, and recorded a number of songs with the band some years ago. One of those songs even managed to be banned in the United States - it was a song written by the legendary Dubliner - Barney Mc Kenna.  Barry joined an elite group of musicians, artists and actors for that record!! City Folk also wrote a song for the late Ronnie Drew (RIP) of The Dubliners. It was rather pretentiously titled ‘North East Winds’ - emanating from that region where Ronnie lived. As far as we know he was anxious not to record it! He could be singing it now though!

Dublin City Folk






Speaking of banjo players we must not forget Joe Doyle, father of Timmy and Joey, another famous musical family from Dublin, who has made a tremendous contribution to Irish music through his association with Ceoltais Ceolteori Eireann in the Monkstown branch of the organisation. Another musician, box player and teacher who played and toured with City Folk over the years is Thomas O Brein. Thomas also toured with us to Paris along with a variety of other musicians and played several gigs with us in Eamonn Doran’s  of Temple Bar, a pub Joe Doyle, myself and Joey nearly burned down with not so new electrical gear, much to the chagrin of the owner also Eamonn Doran. One of our favourite gigs at the time was downstairs in Doran’s on St. Patrick’s Day. Ouch!

Dublin City Folk


Dublin City Folk

Down the years the band has included female singers such as Catherine Coates who won a national Irish music song contest on the Mike Murphy Show on RTE television - that was not today or yesterday!! But Cathy went on to a successful career with Tony Kenny playing shows on and off in the Shelbourne Hotel and touring internationally with the band all over the world. Other members of City Folk also played with Tony in Dublin and throughout the world included Fionnuala Crehan, another great fiddle player and who hails  from that other well known music family originally of Clare and now of Drumcondra, the Crehan’s who run a shop not far from Griffith Avenue. City Folk have also appeared at different times on television and  radio and are always willing to grace these mediums. Another singer to perform with City Folk was the niece of D.J. Curtin, Laura Lee Curtin who recorded a number of tracks with us before going on to develop her own  career in opera and theatre.

                                                                                                     An early combination of City Folk Clem Laura and Treasa.


Dublin City Folk


Dublin City Folk

The band ended up in Peru although we were supposed to be playing in the United States!


Dublin City Folk

 Another tour this time to Paris where Dee Casey of Cork was our lead singer.
Dee is there in red with other members of City Folk. Dee also appeared with us in a residency in Eamonn Doran’s, Temple Bar, Kitty O Shea’s, Grand Canal Street, and O’ Shea’s in Talbot Street and their bar at Merchant Quay.

Dublin City Folk














Above-Left: Clem with All-Ireland Uileann Pipes Champion Mathiu O Cassaidaigh at a wedding

Other bands who worked with Dublin City Folk included ‘Moonshine’ led by bodhran player and singer, Colm Mooney, one of the best known agents in Dublin and someone who took City Folk on a number of tours in the United States and introduced us to the big lights of the industry in that country. Indeed, without Colm, City Folk would not be nearly as experienced in the music business as we are now, and much thanks are due to his band ‘Moonshine’ in that regard. Colm, who worked for many years in the Gaeity Theatre and Shelbourne Hotel with that great and renowned comedian Maureen Potter of Clontarf, has a successful career in the United States and also runs a successful business in Dublin. In the early days members of  City Folk were lucky to share the bill with legendary singer Matt Monroe in the Drake Inn, Finglas. Occasionally the band do a tour or show for Colm on the many international ships that visit the port of Dublin. During our several tours to Dollywood and Silver Dollar City we managed to share the same bill with such luminaries as Glen Cambell (Silver Dollar City) and Dolly Parton, (Dollywood). Andy Williams was there as well in Silver Dollar City but he couldn’t get the hang of the bodhran. We were so grateful to get to these venues particularly Silver Dollar City as one of our heroes had played there - the legendary Johnny Cash.

A friend of Colm’s, that great and famous legend of song-writing everywhere - Pete St. John - has also been associated with City Folk down the years and his songs are favourites with audiences throughout the world. Others that City Folk worked with were singer and comedian Brendan Grace, and comedians Al Bannon and Noel V. Ginnity. Dermot Murphy, whose distinctive voice can still be heard on the City Folk website, is another great singer from Moonshine who continues to play at our weddings and to play and sing also in the Abbey Tavern in Howth, that well-known watering hole where ‘The Dubliners’ began singing and playing music in years gone by. Dermot, who also plays with the music and folk band ‘Murphy,’ has never been short of work, and has played with most of the leading bands in Ireland such as ‘The Dublin City Ramblers.’ 


Dublin  City Folk

Some years back when he was not writing hit records, Pete penned a book entitled  ‘The Beggar At The Window’ which contains many of his stories and songs. Well worth a read for budding songsters.

There have been many other musicians and singers, Tom Cahill, is just one, who also plays with the Ramblers, as well as his own band, members of which including mandolin player Fran who continue to play with City Folk. Many younger musicians are currently working with City Folk and we are certain that many of them will go on to be the great musicians in the future. Not least of these is one of the best flute players in Ireland, the multi-talented Joey Doyle and fiddler Ciaran Mc Eoighain and his brother Ruari, and well known session fiddle player Dermo O Hanlon. City Folk have also sat in with the versatile Luke Crowley of that other great band ‘The Furey Brothers and Davy Arthur’ and his father Mick. Some of these musicians include great fiddlers and uileann pipers. The latest recruit is Rachel Loscher who did her first gig at a wedding as recently as March 20th 2010 at the Village of Lyons in Celbridge. Eleanor would be proud!

The Mary Grimes Dancers have performed with City Folk throughout Ireland and most recently in Venice, Italy Mary is one of the most reliable organisers of dancers and has led teams of girls in the United States as part of Colm Mooney’s troupe. We can’t praise Mary highly enough as her work with a large dance school has produced emissaries who have carried the flag for Ireland in many countries. The dancers themselves have often made the evenings entertainment for couples getting married and the number of married couples who comment on the excellence of their costumed and choreographed shows is uncountable. It is no exaggeration to say that these dancers have been to nearly all our weddings in almost every county of Ireland. They are a real bonus to our show!! The dancers are now led by Maire who along with the troupe came with us recently to a wedding in Italy. While in Venice, members of City Folk went on to Florence to perform in a number of hostelries.


Dublin City Folk


Way back in 1985 we did one of our earliest gigs at a charity and fronted Ireland's most famous band - U2 !!! The Charity was for Baggot Street Children's hospital and U2 were in attendance. The gig was organised by Edwina Darragh, daughter of Ed Darragh, a well known charity funding millionaire of the time. Edwina had come to Slattery's of Capel Street - where we started off - doing gigs downstairs in the cellar or the bar and sometimes upstairs filling in for none other than Christy Moore when he was not there. All this at the behest of the character and owner Paddy Slattery. We were delighted to play before such great acts. 


City Folk are now on 7 specialised Websites in order to promote the bands work on weddings and corporate music events throughout Ireland and abroad. This has helped to make the band the number one band for Irish music, ballads and folk songs at weddings. Many people have helped to establish City Folk including those who do so much of the background diplomatic and financial and set organising. To this end we are grateful to Jenny who is with us on all or gigs to keep the show running and make sure our sound is tested, and gear in place for the highest quality performance.

Dublin’s City Folk continue to play with the best working musicians and people of the highest calibre and character, and we hope that our tours to Berlin, Venice, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote this year, and  Washington next year, D.V. and throughout the four corners of Ireland in between, will introduce our music to more couples who are getting married and who want to make their wedding day that extra bit special  by having a quality and experienced international band of the highest quality to entertain their guests….and always at the right price!!




Dublin City Folk


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