John Nolan’s introduction to the world of accordions began with his father’s Baldoni/Bartoli D/C# 2 Row Button Accordion. At the age of 12, John began taking Lessons on a Paolo Soprani B/C 2 Row Button Box. After several years of enjoying the sounds of this accordion, he noticed the different sounds of different accordions.
It was at this point in his musical career that John was introduced to Aldo Mencaccini of Bell Accordion- the master craftsman, tuner, technician, and mentor. John would eagerly watch Aldo work on all types of accordions. Aldo in turn, would very kindly explain all of these operations and avail himself of any and all questions. This valuable time spent with his close friend Aldo, put John on the path to tuning, repairing, and complete servicing of accordions and the eventual birth of Buttons & Bellows.
In the mid 1990’s John teamed up with another close friend, Jim Coogan, to introduce “The Boxeen” line of accordions. These instruments were built by the Alessandrini family of Italy to meet and exceed the standards and specifications required to gain prominence in an ever expanding market of new accordion manufacturers. While John dealt with tuning and repairs, Jim focused on purchasing and sales of various models. After Jim’s passing, John eventually established contacts with both Italian and German manufacturers and started importing and selling accordions to continue Jim’s great work.
Buttons and Bellows is now a one-stop shop that covers sales of button accordions and accessories; tuning, repairs and general servicing of both button and piano accordions; lessons to learn how to play the instrument; and a performance schedule to allow Irish music fans the opportunity to experience the expertise of a master performer. Assisting John, when called upon, are the other members of the family – his wife Mary at the vendor’s tables; daughter Maura, who handles all the promotional material; and son Brendan, who built this website.
Bruce Foley’s Turning The Tides
Kitty Kelly’s Catskill Fever
Brian Conway’s Consider the Source
The Uncle Brothers’ Mooseltoe (Christmas Recording)
Michael “Jesse” Owens’ From Doolin to Dublin
Morning Star’s Away Ye Go Now
John Nolan’s A Rake of Reels
Morning Star’s Gra
Danny Quinn’s The Uncle Danny Show–Different (Video)
Tim Quinn’s Keeping a Promise
Carl Corcoran’s Dancing the Dublin Reel
Aonach Paddy O’Brien 1994 (Video)
Mike Byrne’s Red Rose Café
John Nolan & Pat Keogh: A Taste for the Traditional
John Egan’s The Irish in Me (Video)
Peggy O’Neill’s Live Irish Party
Dermot Henry’s Greatest Irish Hits Volume I
Through the Years…