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Singer Ger Wolfe is the first act at the Feakle Folk Club in Pepper's.

East Clare folk club is lockdown’s silver lining

A NEW Folk Club is being established by broadcasters Ruth Smith and Paula Carroll, starting this Wednesday night at Pepper’s bar, writes Owen Ryan.

Ruth presents Simply Folk on Sunday nights on RTE and speaking about the spark for the new Folk Club, said it has been an idea long in the making.

“Myself and Paula Carroll, who’d be well known to Clare FM listeners (she presents the West Wind), had an idea of doing it back in 2018. Just with our different schedules we were never able to kind of pull it together at the right time.

“The pandemic had a couple of silver linings, with people slowing down. We applied for the live performance support scheme grant, which we were successful with.

“That was with Gary Pepper and the venue being Pepper’s pub in Feakle, and it’s all systems go now, which is great.”

She said that the two broadcasters became fast friends on meeting in Feakle.

“Myself and Paula met when I moved to this part of the country, we struck up a very quick and easy friendship being music broadcasters and music lovers.

“It’s great to be able to do something like this in a place we both care about. Pepper’s is such a great venue, and it’s well known across the country.”
The first show is Ger Wolfe on September 15.

“I think he’s one of the most incredible songwriters in the country, he’s a real troubadour and he’s a lovely stagecraft as well,” says Ruth.


John Francis Flynn plays on the 24th, who she describes as “a really important young folk artist”.

On October 8 it is Pauline Scanlon, Nicola Joyce and Noriana Kennedy together.

“They work together a lot. Pauline Scanlon, people would know from Lumiere, and Nicola Joyce and Noriana Kennedy are two thirds of The Whileaways.

“I love three part vocal harmonies, especially female voices. They’re going to have a lot of harmonic nuance, lots of lovely songs and they’re great fun as well,” says Ruth.

The last night is October 22, with husband and wife duo Barry Kerr and Sile Denvir set to deliver what Ruth calls “a lovely mix of tradition and folk”.

The gigs will be on in a marquee at Pepper’s, but Covid regulations still apply.

“You have to buy tickets through Eventbrite, you can find the ticket link on the Feakle Folk Club facebook page and Instagram page, and on Paula’s social media and mine.

“You have to show your Covid passport, even though it’ll be in a marquee outside Pepper’s.”

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