From: Jerry O'Reilly [oreilly_at_clubi_dot_ie]
Sent: 03 October 2007 16:53
Subject: Fw: Wheesin and Squeasin, 26-28 October 2007

Jerry O'Reilly,
6 The Orchard,
Dublin 20.
Ph: 0035316267589
Mob: 00353868161557
e-mail: oreilly_at_clubi_dot_ie
----- Original Message -----
From: Russell, Dr Ian G.
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 12:22 PM
Subject: Wheesin and Squeasin, 26-28 October 2007

Dear All,

Please spread the word about the great little event we are hosting at the end of October ('clocks back weekend'!).

(And we include Jew's harps - trumps!)


Note that the workshops are for players of other instruments too.

There are also some fascinating seninars on the Friday afternoon with Stuart Eydmann, Michael Wright, and Vic Gammon.

Thanks and best wishes,



Button Boxes and Moothies


The University of Aberdeen's Elphinstone Institute will host Button Boxes and Moothies (26-28 October 2007), a unique celebration of small free-reed instruments, including mouth organs, concertinas, melodeons, diatonic button accordions, and Jews harps.


The Free Reed Convention will be just the place to enjoy the music of these instruments by some of the very best talents around, both local to Scotland and from further afield. It will be a great opportunity to find out more about the instruments and their music.


The weekend event will allow visitors to try a taster session, join an elementary workshop, or, if suitably experienced, learn about style and repertoire at a players workshop. There will also be several opportunities for informal sessions in local music-friendly pubs.


Full programme details will be available at

or telephone 01224 272996



Guests at the Free Reed Convention:


George Current is a highly respected moothie player from Edinburgh, who plays regularly in the sessions at Sandy Bell’s Bar and leads an informal moothie group. He specialises in Scottish country dance and pipe tunes (he is also a piper), and has wide experience of leading workshops.


Jackie Daly (button accordion) comes from North Cork and plays in the style of Sliabh Luachra, the area bordering Kerry and North Cork, famous for its slides and polkas. Formerly a member of the Irish group De Dannan, he currently plays in Patrick Street. 


Fred Davidson of Banchory is a well-known melodeon player in the North East. He has played at all the local festivals and won many competitions. He is also a favourite compère at local ceilidhs.


Stuart Eydmann plays English concertina and fiddle and has been a member of the Whistlebinkies since 1979. A highly respected researcher of the free reed instruments in Scotland (the subject of his PhD), he will be giving a presentation on his new online database initiative.


Vic Gammon is a senior lecturer at Newcastle University, where he is an expert on folk and traditional music. He is a melodeon and anglo concertina player, and will be giving one of the seminars discussing traditional music styles.

Robert Harbron is a leading light in the ongoing renaissance of English music, considered to be the finest concertina player of his generation. A member of the English Acoustic Collective and a duo with fiddler Emma Reid, he is acknowledged as a teacher and workshop leader.


Katie Howson is an expert on East Anglian Music, particularly stepdance tunes. She is a founder member of The Old Hat Concert Party, a group of singers, musicians, and stepdancers, and has led ceilidh bands for many years, notably Katie's Quartet. She has taught courses on the melodeon and is a director of the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust.


Conor Keane from Co. Clare plays two-row button accordion in the older 'push and draw style'. He is an outstanding player with a distinctive technique and has played with the Tulla Ceili Band, Shaskeen, Arcady, and Four Men and a Dog.


Régis Lechatellier is a Breton accordion player now living in Aberdeen. He is a beautiful stylist, and performs compelling tunes which will add extra spice to the programme.


Spider MacKenzie is ‘the star of the bloos moothie’. Playing since age 13, he is a versatile musician with roots in blues, but also plays country, rock, jazz and folk harmonica. He will be accompanied by Steve Crawford.


Mary MacNamara is the leading exponent of the anglo concertina in County Clare in Ireland. Her playing is greatly admired. She has recorded two CDs, her debut being voted Traditional Music Highlight of 1994 by The Irish Times. She has also taught many people to play, both young and old. One of her former students, Kate MacNamara, will be with her for the festival.


Doddie Murray of Stuartfield has been playing mouth organ since he was a boy in the 1930s. He regularly plays on his own and with other instrumentalists, and is a great favourite at ceilidhs and festivals in the North-East.


Simon Thoumire from Edinburgh is a concertina virtuoso, composer, and educator. In 1989 he won the BBC Young Tradition Award and has featured on several CDs. He has also pursued interests in the industry side of traditional music forming Foot Stompin' Records in 1997, Scottish Traditional Music Trust (2000), and Hands Up for Trad (2003).


Pip Murphy is one of the legendary Murphy brothers from Co. Wexford who learnt to play the mouth organ from his father. He is widely acknowledged as one of the foremost players of the instrument in Ireland.


Tom Roche, originally from Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, but currently resident in Glasgow, plays C#/D button accordion. He teaches and plays Irish traditional music in Glasgow and is a member of the Irish-reggae fusion group Paddyrasta.  Tom also plays Balkan-Gypsy music with the Jani Lang Band.


Frances Wilkins took up English concertina whilst living in Shetland, and this tradition lies at the heart of her repertoire and unique style. She is a founder member of the group Solan, performs locally with ceilidh bands Danse McCabre and Cabrach, and with the Pictones.


Michael Wright has been at the forefront of researching, playing and promoting the Jew’s harp in the UK for the past ten years. Musically his interest is in the traditional, melodic use of the instrument and influences include Angus Lawrie of Oban. His research is focused on the history of the Jew’s harp in the UK and Ireland.



And supported by Aberdeen City Council, the Blue Lamp, the Friends of the Elphinstone Institute, the Globe Inn, the Scottish Arts Council, SC&T, the Wood Group, Celtic Chords Music Shop, and TMSA (Aberdeen Branch).
Dr Ian Russell, Director
The Elphinstone Institute
University of Aberdeen
MacRobert Building
King's College
AB24 5UA
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272386
Fax: +44 (0)1224 272728