Around 10 years ago I was given a single row Hohner button accordion by Doug Bull, bass player in my band. Turns out he rescued it from the attic of a demolished house. I’d seen button accordions at folk festivals and was keen to try. It proved too hard, I put it on a shelf. It sat there for 5 years.

Then I read “Accordion Crimes” by E. Annie Proulx. A beautiful book, which follows a late 19th century two row button accordion across 20th century USA. I defy anyone to read the book and not want to play accordion. I got mine out again. This time someone pointed out the problem. The left hand strap was too tight. I fitted another, it was better, I was away.

The button accordion note layout is similar to harmonica. So I was part way there. I found a great button accordion forum (, with advice on all things accordion. Better still, a “For Sale” section. I’ve bought four instruments from it so far.

Hohner is THE great accordion company, along with harmonicas. Better still, eBay (and is awash with vintage Hohner accordions, which are cheaply had. An 80 year old Hohner generally needs attention, there are experts who do this. I own a several vintage Hohners, in particular a 1940’s 2915 two row G/C, refurbished by Adelaide based Peter Hyde

These old Hohners have a glorious retro look, with a sound to match. When refurbished, they are a delight to play. You can see my collection on the right.