Category Archives: Music

Top 5 Best Irish Accordion Albums

We all have a soft spot for top lists and to my surprise I couldn’t find a ” Top 5 Best Irish accordion albums ” online, so here it is: My favorite accordion albums of all time.

My personal taste in accordion sounds tends towards more tremolo and slower more old-school kind of playing. However, this has not always been the case, so later on I will follow up with my favorite non-old-school button box records. If you have some nice suggestions feel free to drop me a note.

I think its very important to support the artist by buying their music. Therefore I have attached links below to where you can buy this music. Some of the artists can also be found on streaming sites, others don’t.

The amazon links below are affiliate links, if you choose to use those, you support me and this site.

#5 Notes from the Heart – The Mulcahy Family

Mick, Michelle and Louise Mulcahy have recorded this fantastic and much praised album in 2008 and I lost count how many times I have heard it since. Such a lovely flow.

Tip: check out the set that starts with – The Leitrim Lilter –

#4 Up and Coming – Oisin & Conal Hernon

A cool Banjo/Box album by Oisin and Conal Hernon – this one deserves much more attention than it currently gets. The two have recorded multiple albums together but this is the only old-school sounding one as far as I know.

Tip: check out Micky Quinn’s.

#3 Martin Quinn & Angelina Carberry

Really tight Banjo/Box playing by two masters! The tunes are quite interesting non-standard tunes or at least I have not heard them played so often. The opening set – McCarthy’s and McGann’s – is a firm favorite of the Amsterdam Session’s two box players.

#2 In Retrospect – Danny O’Mahony

Danny O’Mahony’s fantastic first solo record. In my opinion one the best if not *the* best box album ever made. Created by an exceptional artist. I have not found any place where one can buy the digital album online, but it’s possible to order an actual CD (that’s also what I did).

For example from Claddagh Records.

…and here comes the number 1:

#1 The Kitchen Recordiongs – Sean O’Driscoll & Larry Egan

Hands down the best Banjo/Box album. Love the sound and playing of Larry Egan, the selection of tunes and the laid back feel this record has. Have they or maybe Larry Egan made any other recordings? I’m only aware of this one and I would love to hear more!

Tip: The Cuil Aodha/Nettles in the Soup

I hope you enjoyed my Top 5 Best Irish button accordion albums! If your favourite album is missing or you have some nice suggestions feel free to drop me a note.

1

Weltmeister in A/D (“gedraaide 5de Toets”)

A very pretty Weltmeister button accordion for sale in A/D, freshly tuned and serviced – ready to play. The accordion sounds very mellow and quiet because A/D is much lower sounding in pitch than C/F. This is a perfect instrument for a beginner or someone with sensitive neighbors.

A Swedish waltz played on the Weltmeister A/D

The bellows are as new, the keyboard plays smooth and quiet and the instrument is light and easy to handle.

The accordion has the following features:

  • New tuning to medium flat tremolo (+8 ct on A)
  • Gedraaide 5de toets – push/pull of 5ths button on inside row is reversed. Note: I can remove this if needed.
  • Optional: Bass without thirds
  • Shoulder strap
  • Full 1-year workshop warranty
  • You can add a suitable hard case for an additional fee

Price: Sold.

Contact

1

RESTORED 3-VOICE HOHNER C#/D (~1930)

This beautiful Hohner accordion is from the 1930ies and was one of Hohner’s top range models in those days. It was originally tuned C/F before I converted it to C#/D.

It has been fitted with new super dural reeds and tuned to medium tremolo of +-10ct on A. Due to the three voices it plays loud and with a rich and mellow sound. The thirds have been removed from the basses.

The keyboard and buttons are kept original but have been setup (limited button travel, new felt pads and mechanics adjustment) to play much more quiet and easy. The visible metal parts have been cleaned and de-rusted and the bellows are in a good condition.

The instrument comes with a full 1-year workshop warranty and a shoulder strap. A suitable hard case can be added for an additional fee if needed.

Price: Sold.

Contact

2

For Sale: Hohner Marca Registrada 1-row

Playing one-row boxes has become a bit of a trend lately. Maybe it’s the search for simplicity or just Emma Corbett killing it on her melodeon (listen here)…

On behalf of an acquaintance, I’m selling a beautiful old Hohner Marca Registrada in the key of C. The box belonged to a relative that recently passed away and was hardly ever played. The Instrument is stunningly beautiful and in top condition: Ready-to-play. It does not come with my full workshop warranty but has been checked in the workshop and the felt pads on the bass-side have been renewed. It plays nicely, the bellows are tight and the tuning is good.

some say…. on the old one-row

Comes with the original fabric bag and shoulder strap.

Price: 300 EUR + shipping

Contact

1

For Sale: Hohner Erika B/C for trad. irish music

A beautiful Hohner Erika box fitted with brand new Hohner reeds, new feltpads and gaze on grill and bass. Tuned to a medium dry +8ct on A. The bellows show some wear, but are in good working condition. No air leeks, no serious damage.

The box was made for trad. music:

Tell me know, a nice waltz on the freshly tuned Erika B/C box.

Very happy with the outcome of the box. It plays light and sounds nice.

Comes with a one year accordion-doc workshop warranty and shoulder straps. A suitable small Hohner hard case or gigbag can be added for an additional cost of 50 EUR / 30 EUR.

Price: Sold.

1

Hohner Pokerwork in A/D

I am selling a german made Hohner Pokerwork in the Tuning A/D. The instrument has been improved with new feltpads (silent keyboard action, even in fast tunes) and a fresh tuning with less tremolo that suits the mellow sound of the box very well. New shoulder strap holders were added and the grill lining renewed on both treble and bass side.

Here’s what it sounds like solo.
Here’s what it sounds like when playing some reels

The instrument is in excellent playing condition and looks as shiny as new though it is a second hand instrument.

One or two shoulder straps are included and a suitable small Hohner hard case or gigbag can be added for an additional cost of 50 EUR / 30 EUR.

Price: Sold.

1

For Sale: Restored C/F Weltmeister

A nice pre-1990 Weltmeister Box tuned in C/F. I have come across a couple of Weltmeister Accordions already and this one is in surprisingly good condition. Accordion making has a long tradition in the area of Klingenthal as can be read in this little overview. This box was made in the days of the nationally owned enterprise, VEB Klingenthaler Harmonikawerke most likely pre-1990 as indicated by the sticker of origin (DDR – socialist eastern Germany).

The accordion is in mint condition, fully restored and tuned. The tuning is C/F with additional semi-tones (F#/G# , D#/C#) placed at the bottom of the keyboard. It plays light and makes an ideal first instrument for a beginner or travel accordion.

Sold

1

Jigs: Julia Clifford’s Jig and Paddy Taylor’s

A lovely couple of Jigs played on my super loud 4-voice Dino Baffetti B/C. I got the box from a piano accordion maker who wasn’t really aware what he held in his hands. Plays lovely and very loud. Ideal box for a noisy Paddy’s Day session!

The first tune is a standard by now, the second not so much. I heard it played in one of the many box-related facebook videos that pass my screen everyday and in the comments, it said that these two are always played together. I can’t remember the third tune in that set and find it hard to find a suitable third tune. If you have a suggestion: Just let me know :-)

1

Reels: Miss McGuiness/McGoldrick’s


This week it’s reels again. Miss McGuiness is a tune I have played for a long time after I heard Frankie Gavin play it with De Dannan. I never considered it to be a particularly nice box tune until I heard Daithi Gormley play it on some Youtube video I can’t find anymore. What makes it really fun for me now is that the second part starts with the dominant chord, so in this case D and not G. This gives a nice little lift to it as it comes as a surprise to the listener. It also serves as a mean little test for the person playing backing will they be able to pick that up or just keep playing against that chord change?

The second tune, McGoldrick’s has been a firm favourite since I heard it played as the finale of a four-reels set on the first Beginish CD. What a nice set of reels that is. It’s dangerously close to the Humours of Tulla though and it took me long to keep this two apart. It still happens that I slip into McGoldrick’s when I want to play Humours of Tulla in a set but it get’s less.

1

The fair haired boy/The controversial

I finally found the time to record some tunes and am going to share one after the other roughly every week. I’ll put some info on where I got them from. The following two reels have been longtime favorites of mine.

The fair haired boy is tune I first heard played on a recording of a Lisdoonvarna session someone had filmed with a cell phone and posted on facebook. I can’t find it anymore but luckily, I played it back out loud and recorded it with my cell phone on the train immediately while I was commuting to work. Poor folks sitting next to me… It was only after that incident that I heard it played in the Amsterdam Session as well.

The controversial was written be Billy McComiskey. It seems less popular on this side of the pond, which I think is a pity so I keep advertising it. IMHO The best version is actually not played by the man himself, but by John McCann.

1