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.

Catskill's sign

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.

Previous Recordings

Bruce Foley, John Nolan, John Reynolds’ Sailors on the Rock

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…

Billy Keenan  CCE 2  1  bernadette  billy-keenan-2  CCE Convention  Enrichment Class  Jerry O  Felix Dolan  Erin's '82-1  Erin's '82  cimg0062  jnol  Margie,Linda, Rose & Brian  Mary Coogan  Ferncliff  Kitty  PD 0001  Melodeon  Rose & Linda  mineolaceili  scan0001  scan0002  Merry-Christmas  scan0001-1  Sean & Cathy Quinn  Tommy Mulvihill  Top-1  Top-2  Top-3  Top-5  Top-6  Top-7  Top-4  Top-9  Top-8  Top-10  Top-12  Top-11  Top-13  Top-15 Top-14 Top-16 Top-18 Top-19 Top-20 Top-17 Top-21 Sean-Quinn Top-22 top-24 top-25 Top-23 John-Tom Tommy-Mulvihill Baldoni