[Harp-L] Scottish Irish Tunes

Paddy O'Brien a celebrated box player from Nenagh was considered to have
made a major change to Irish accordion playing in the fifties when he
introduced a smooth legato style.

A few years ago I had the good fortune to spend a night of (moderate)
drinking in the company of the legendary Boston box virtuoso Joe Derrane. I
asked the dumb question: "What is this Paddy O'Brien style that they are
always talking about? " Joe's simple and direct reply was "He played a B/C
box" It took me a while to figure out the significance of this, but my
simple minded conclusion was that as neither row was either G or D you could
not play a B/C like a melodeon, but were obliged to use both rows all the

Rick Epping suggested at Willie Clancy a few years ago that you could make a
B/C chromatic harmonica by the simple expedient of buying a B Chromatic and
reversing the slide. Perhaps some adventurous soul will produce such an
instrument and succeed in playing it in "Paddy O'Brien Style"

There are by the way two Paddy O'Briens. The other one - also a prominent
two row box player is from County Offaly. I don't know what class or key of
an accordion he plays.


Aongus Mac Cana









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