Listening: Button Accordion

Remember:  this list is nowhere near comprehensive.  It’s just to get you started.

Irish-Style Button Accordion

Joe Burke’s recording Morning Mist is available on CDBaby.  His website will direct you to sources for physical copies of that and his earlier recordings.  He plays B/C.

You can find Dermot Byrne playing Irish and Canadian music on a C#/D accordion with Pierre Schryer, fiddle, on CDBaby, where you can also find him playing Irish and French music with Floriane Blancke, harp.

Jacky Daly is best known for playing C#/D, although on his 1977 solo recording Music from Sliabh Luachra he also plays anglo concertina and 1-row melodeon, all in the style of his particular region of Ireland.  Available on Apple Music and also Spotify.

If you think Irish button accordion is all about fast and jaunty, listen to Tony MacMahon’s Farewell to Music, available for download via Bandcamp or as a physical CD from a number of outlets, to hear a collection of slow airs.  His early recording Tony MacMahon is available for streaming or download via Amazon.

Billy McComiskey, who falls into the subcategory “Irish-American,” is respected on both sides of the hyphen, to paraphrase Earle Hitchner in the Irish Echo and the WSJ.  Billy’s fine recording Outside the Box is available online from Compass Records, where you can find more of his many recordings.  He plays B/C.

Sharon Shannon is a versatile C#/D player with a long playlist.  Her 2016 recording In Galway is one of several available on Spotify and elsewhere.

Irish-style Melodeon

Johnny Connolly’s solo recording An Mileoidean Scaolite, available on CDBaby, features primarily dance music accompanied by piano.

Bobby Gardiner plays two-row button accordion as well as the one-row melodeon.  Melodeon Mad is his most recent recording to date (2018).

English-style Button Accordion

Andy Cutting’s decidedly non-rumpty-tumpty 2010 recording Andy Cutting is available through Apple Music and iTunes, as is the lively 1992 Panic at the Cafe, featuring button accordion and hurdy gurdy.  Both recordings are also available through Amazon Music.  He is a member of the band Leveret, which has physical CDs available at The Button Box, or you can download any or all from the band via RootBeat Records.

Button accordion predominates on John Kirkpatrick’s 1993 Morris dance recording Sheepskins, available for download or streaming from Amazon.  You can get a physical copy of this and his other CDs, including the 2007 re-release of Plain Capers, directly from John Kirkpatrick.

Owen Woods’ fine recording In Any Weather is available for streaming, download, or as a physical CD through Bandcamp.

Québecois Button Accordion

You can access Sabin Jacques playing with the band Raz de Marée, aka Tidal Wave, on CDBaby and elsewhere.

La Bottine Souriante features much more than button accordion, but especially on their earlier recordings, of which La traversée de l’Atlantique is but one, it’s a compelling presence.

On the classic La Bruit court dans la ville, available on CD Baby, Lisa Ornstein, fiddle, and Andre Marchand, guitar and vocals, are joined by Norman Miron, accordion and vocals.

We remind you to approach YouTube with caution, but it does allow you to see and hear Raynald Ouellet and Marcel Messevier playing together.

French Button Accordion

Eric Champion’s 2002 Accordéon Diatonique is available on Amazon Music.

You can hear tantalizing samples of Frederic Paris’ 1998 recording Rue de l’Oiseau on Amazon Music.

Daniel Thonon’s Master of the Diatonic Accordion (2004) is available in whole or in part from Amazon Music.


For a sampler of Cajun accordion, try Cajun Accordion Kings, available as a download or a physical CD from Amazon Music.

The Savoy Family Band is available for streaming or download from Amazon Music, and you can access the 1975 Under A Green Oak Tree, with Mark Savoy, Dewey Balfa, and D. L. Menard, via Apple Music.


The 1961 Santiago Jimenez, Jr., recording Viva Seguin, available on CDBaby, is a place to start.

Flaco Jimenez released Tejaño Roots: Flaco’s First! With Los Caminantes, available on Apple Music, in 1994.  You can fast-forward to the 2010 Amor Tapado, or you can check out any of the recordings in between.

Steve Jordan’s El Huracan is available though Amazon Music.