the greatest button box player

the greatest button box player

hey im lookin for inspiration

so who do you think is the greatest button button accordion player and why?
like personally i try to go for a trad style because of competitions and stuff so i believe people like joe burke and damien mullane to be my heros
but then every so often i like to modernise my music a bit and listen to other box players

but i want to broaden my accordion taste a bit…im only aware of a few box players
oo…if u no of any good accordion player cds that would be good 2…iv got lots of like kevin burke and stuff but im after box players

so come on tel us ur favourite so i can check them out pretty please :D

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Máirtín O Connor, Dermot Byrne, Mícheal O Darby Flatharta and Peter Browne

All good but quite different styles

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Paddy O’Brien of Offaly for his unique style and enormous repertoire. And I love Martin Quinn of Armagh, who has made a great duet recording with his wife Angelina Carberry.

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Well actually lacylu11, since you ask, Joe Burke would be my least favourite player. I’m afraid I find his style very mechanical & like painting by numbers in a musical sort of way. He did join I session I was playing in, in Dublin, back around 1980 & I remember thinking, oh good, now I’ll get a chance to hear how he really plays, i.e. not his CD style, but sadly it was just the same - not my cup of tea at all.

Top recording Dog for me has to be Jackie Daly, by a long country mile, but I play regularly with a great Accordion player up here, Ciaran Kelly, a Fermanagh man, & I enjoy playing with him more than any other box player I’ve played with, so I guess the truth is, there are different catagories to my answer.

For example, the above answer relates to the 2 Row Button Box but if we’re talking small box then I like to listen to Míchéal O Raghallaigh & John Williams.
However, there’s a young fellow up here, Aidan, who is a wonderful player & I get a great kick out of playing with him too.

As for Piano Accordion …………………………:-)

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Admit it Ptarmi, it’s me. Even though you’ve never heard me.

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She asked for button box players, not piano accordian players, Conan!

You going to be at Oxford FF again this year?

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well he moved the subject on to piano box; no doubt in an effort to talk about a real musical instrument ;¬)

Actually I got the form for stewarding in the mail. Haven’t filled it out yet so I must do that this weekend. Are you going?

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I like a lot Altan and Dervish box stuff,also I like Josephine Marsh and P.J King

Rafix

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oioi
u piano players keep on subject…button boxs…tut tut always thinkin the subject has to revolve around a piano accordion :P

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I always thought there were buttons too, on a PA? :-D

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The On button and the Off button

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Tony MacMahon. Perfect timing and just the right pulse and phrasing. Although his slow airs go on a bit , they give you time to go and make a cup of tea and be back before they finish and he doesn´t sound anything like Joe Burke, the musical note machine.

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Easy, a young player called Adrian Scahill, followed by Martin Quinn. I dont think there was a tune written that these two boys dont have.

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omg if eva i can play an accorion like that guy…u no a proper accorion A BUTTON 1 *heehee*
no seriously damiens band is amazing


and im downloadin as many as these artists as your giving me up…so far iv gota say the john wheelan stuf is nice …wait actually il rite up a ful review in a mo :D
louisianna xx

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no1 has mentioned my name yet…suppose ur doing that so i dont get bigheaded tho…all forgiven ;)

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Where are you downloading the tracks from? I’m a bit lazy and it’s always good when someone does the hard work for you!

Cheers Lou!

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Joe Cooley was the greatest , Tony McMahon is the Greatest and the rest are a country mile or two behind ,, but Bobby Gardiner is worth a listen also

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God, I just remembered Billy McComiskey.

Now THAT’S a box player

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hey do you know where i can get a billy McComiskey cd from…or even a downloadin…i have literally been searching for him all day…someone else has said he is a legend

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and im gettin my downloadings from itunes be the way

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or do u recon if i give you me email address you could send us a few tracks by some of your "greatest button box players"
PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE (and imagine a really whiney voice to go with) :D

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Andy Nolan from London band Sláinte is a very good player especially live which to me is where it matters most. He has a diverse range of styles as well as being extremely compitent at the irish shtuff.

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McComiskey is on the "Trian" CDs.

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Of course, the greatest PA player in the world must surely be Conan McDonnell, although I have to admit - I’ve never heard ‘of’ him!




:-D

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"London band Sláinte" - phew, that was a close one! I bet your glad MacThewife didn’t spell it ‘banned’ - Slainte?

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Check out Benny McCarthy in Danu. Great C#/D player. Shane Mitchell of Dervish is also great. So is John Whelan.

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I think Sharon Shannon is a pioneer!!!!

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Good call!

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does anyone no the key of box tony macmahon has?

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I love Christy Leahy from Cork: entusiasthic and happyness player.
But my true love is Johnny O’Leary; is passed but for me is the best of traditional irish accordion.

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Kevin Keegan, Jackie Daly, Christie MacNamara, Johnny Og Connolly, Joe MacLaren, Colm Gannon…???

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i recon the greatest boxy is laitch!!!
the guys a ledgend who found McComiskey downloads for me…but u want me to shock you…u ready…this 17yr old had already found the lord gordons one…from the same place as you to :D

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My first nomination ever! O, the joy!
I want to thank all the little people who’ve made this possible, especially my invisible friend, Timmy, and, of course, lacylu11 of louisianna England.
God bless you.

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Larsheen, you’ve beaten me to it - there’s only one Joe Cooley who’s music has a spirit and soul in it that very few musicians can ever come anywhere near capturing. Tommy Peoples does the same for fiddle.

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Remember Johnny O’Leary,
he would have them dancing for sure!

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Joe Derrane. Nobody even mentioned him (sniff). Of course Daly, Burke, McComiskey, Gardiner, Mick Mulcahy, are also superb players.
Derrane reigns supreme in my view, though. He’s up there with Cooley.

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OK, Lacylu, you ask why we like our favourite players.
For Derrane, it’s a combination of smoothness and crispness. Not only are his triplets perfect, but also his quadruplets and quintuplets, not to mention the dazzling rolls. And total mastery of the bellows movement, ever so subtle ,so that the push and pull are indistinguishable.
I listen to box players all the time, every day. I haven’t found his match yet. As far as virtuosity he comes very close to the legendary John Kimmel.
Just ask Jackie Daly and Mairtin O’Connior what they think of Derrane. And listen to The Man Behind The Box if you get a chance.

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Two from NY ….TOM DUNNE and JOHN NOLAN!!!

Tom’s playing has an emotional level and feeling that’s incredible. You have to see him live, preferably at a session where he is having a great time and some Guiness… And he is an endless fountain of tunes no one’s ever heard before.

And John Nolan, I feel is a genius with ornaments, tunes and phrasing and should be more well known than he is. They both should!

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I got to agree with Iris, I have sessioned with both of them.

I remembered how great John Nolan was after I had already posted. His playing really stuck to me. Perhaps one of the best Box players I have ever met or heard. Great flowing style, great variations, and great use of Bass. He also has a pretty god ability to pick up tunes on the fly.

Tom really is a fountain of tunes.

The two are both great I prefered John’s style. Although not only is Tom a great Box player, but he is also a great Fiddler.

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I really like Tom Dahill’s box playing. He swears Cuz Teehan was the best (and Cuz left his box to Tom).

Eric

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Tony McMahon plays D/D#, Lacylu ,(Cooley’s old box). That’s the one I’m aware of,anyway.

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I prefer the cleaner box sounds - dont like reedy sound. Two tremendous box players that havent been mentioned here yet are Murty Ryan (who did an awesome duet album with Siobhan Peoples) and Brendan Brown from Galway - can be found reguarly playing in the Quays.

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I’m gunna have to say Dermot Byrne, Jackie Daly, and Sharon Shannon

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Raymond Roland used to play in the white hart in london in the during 70’s early 80’s Don;t know if their are any recordings of him but he was the best

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Tim Edey.

You’ll know him more for playing guitar with Lunasa, Sharon Shannon, Brendan Begley, Frankie Gavin, et al., but if you can prise his guitar off him, he’s the ultimate button box magician.

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Dermot Grogan was quite a box player as well as one of the great flute players.

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If you want the hairs to stand up on the back of your neck with enjoyment then get the CD of Joe Cooley. Turn up the volume ,close your eyes and be carried away. There is soul in his playing.

Young Darren Breslin from up north is worth looking out for .

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No one has mentioned Joe Madden yet!

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Conor Keane has released a new CD recently; it is an excellent recording from a brilliant box player. But I agree that Joe Cooley was the man!

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JJ Kimmel.
What a man…
Don’t think he’s been mentioned yet.

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i was only able to distinguish and analyze different box styles & why i like them more or less after logging years of just learning how to play the darn thing. but now that i’ve had a chance to learn a bit about style, i’m baffled as to why the heavily-ornamented b/c style joe burke is known for was seen as an "advance" rather than just another style option—-it is technically impressive, but five-note rolls on box take up a lot of airspace and obscure the melody far more than they do on fiddle. i have a theory that the trend of players abandoning b/c box for c#/d owes more to the cleaner ornamentation typical of the so-called "older" c#/d style than to the push-pull dance oomph c#/d supposedly gives you. i believe those heavy ornaments, plus the low-reed voice many of them play in, explains why some may find the burke-style players "mechanical" sounding. in any event, i’m a b/c player who has stayed with b/c while opting for the cleaner and to me, more expressive, less ornamented so-called "older" style——joe cooley, tony macmahon, johnny o’leary, jackie daly, andrew macnamara are some of my faves who play this way on c#/d or similar setups. on b/c, fave players who with a clean, expressive sound who do not do the heavily ornamented blizzard of rolls include paddy o’brien offaly, john williams, josephine marsh, verena cummins, christy mcnamara, john canny of the clare trio suantrai and the ennis box player johnny mccarthy, who did a solo cd to benefit the clare cancer center titled "solo run."—-it is full of slow, swingy, hauntingly modal old clare tunes and is one of the most soulful box cds out there. i still love the burke-style ornament wizards for listening, and john nolan is at the top of my list in that department.

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C#/D: David Munnelly (other than Derrane, sounds the closest to those old Kimmel 78 recs)

B/C: Donal Murphy

Also Luke Daniels (plays both) is a monster player.

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And don’t forget about Mairtin O’Connor.

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We didn’t. Check the second post in this thread :)

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Oops! Sorry guys :-) Aidan Coffey and Derek Hickey are two other ex De Dannan players whose recordings I’ve spent many hours doing the play-rewind-play-rewind thing trying to pick up on some of what they’re doing. I’ve heard that Hickey’s supposed to be coming out with a solo album. Does anyone know if it’s been released yet?

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You would not want to exclude the late Sean McGlynn (Tynagh, Co Galway) from this list. I understand that he was the mentor/model to both McComiskey and John Nolan in New York. I once saw a (from the late ’50s/early-’60s) pic on a pub wall in Peterswell of the Leitrim Ceili Band featuring two young Paolo players - a tall, slim, dark haired young gent named J. Burke and by his side, yer man, S. McGlynn.

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Joe "Santa" Burke by a mile. The Jimi Hendrix of box playing.

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Anyone else receive one of Joe’s plastersine Santa Christmas cards?

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I don’t buy into the "greatest" concept — there’s too many great players to decide from. But if you were to ask which one has influenced me the most, that would be easy. Josephine Marsh.

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The Three best Players are:
Mairtin O’Connor(c#d)
Jackie Daly(c#d)
David Munnelly(c#d)

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Maybe i missed it in the thread, but shouldn’t Finbarr get a mention for his sheer precociousness? I know the continental guff is a mark against him. He was the antithesis to Burke for me back in the 70’s. If anybody can claim the ‘Hendrix’ title, I believe it is him.

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What about the legendary Clare born Bobby Gardiner who has not only played all over the world but influenced younger players such as Danu’s Benny McCarty through his teaching?

His playing is truly rhythmic, high spirited and pure.

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My favorites are Raymond Roland, John Bowe, Paddy O’Brien (from Tipperary), Finbar Dwyer, Billy McComiskey, John Nolan, Joe Burke, Sean McGlynn, Larry Gavin, and Bobby Gardiner.

This is a pretty badass recording by John Bowe

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=5c6e33e49ff7112275a4fc82078ae6c8f4d9ec32c78ca9474ad239450a8c1cf1

Also, one of my favorite recordings was the one made by Paddy O’Brien and Seamus Connelly. There is also a recording of a concert of Sean McGlynn with Billy McComiskey on piano from the 80s floating around if you can find someone who has it. It’s great stuff.

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The greatest accordion player Ireland ever produced was the late Kieran Kelly from Clonmacnoise , Offaly. Johnny Bass of Gorey and Sean Norman will testify to this and Jimmy Shand told me himself that Kelly was the best player he ever heard and Shands opinion is good enough for me.

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john nolan and joe madden. john has great technical abilities and creativity. Madden had force and heart. if you blend these two, i think you’ll have the best box player to exist. needless to say, they both made their own styles

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John Nolan hands down. Listen to A Rake of Reels on the CD of the same name. Eleven reels in a row! An accordion player workout in one take.

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Don’t forget, the most understated and organically raw and talented musician hailing from Kerry, who has stayed true to himself, consequently finding his own voice to say something inherently unique - Martin O’Connell - a truly inspirational and humble player at the same time. Truly unique with an boundless pit of repertoire, he is the embodiment of a traditional Irish box player, who plays from his heart - deeply immersed, invested and committed to his art form, for the sake of the music itself…wow!

http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_388_5_martin_oconnell/

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The three leaves of the box shamrock …
John Kimmel, Joe Derrane & Luke O’Malley