FolkWorld #63 07/2017
© Seán Laffey

Cordeen Connections

The related article has been withdrawn by the author.

CORDEEN - The Story Behind the band & its members


Cordeen is a group comprised of four of Ireland & Newfoundland's finest exponents of the button accordion, some also great vocalists! The title 'Cordeen' derives from the Newfoundland expression for the Accordion, a phonetic of the Irish Gaelic word 'Cairdín'.

Benny McCarthy(Danú) and Conor Moriarty (All-Ireland Champion 2010) hail from historic counties Waterford and Kerry in Ireland. Billy Sutton(The Fables) and Graham Well's(ex-The Irish Descendants) are from Harbour Grace & St.Johns in Newfoundland. All the members bring over two decades of experience in the music industry, from International touring artists to studio and concert producers. The cultural connection between Ireland and Newfoundland is at the musical heart of Cordeen, everything from the lively foot tapping tune to heartfelt Songs and airs.

A Cordeen concert is a truly unique musical experience full of energy, emotion and wit.

Four centuries after the first Irish immigrants set foot on the shores of Newfoundland, a group of talented musicians came together under the name of their beloved instrument: Cordeen, from Irish cairdín, the native term for the button accordion those pioneering players brought with them from the old world to the new.

The History


Artist Video Cordeen @ FolkWorld:

Benny McCarthy @ FolkWorld:
FW#7, #36, #45

Since the first Irish fishermen travelled west, captivated by the promises of this abundant land, Newfoundland has been a bastion of Ireland’s enchanting cultural heritage. It is a place where people still speak with the unmistakable lilt of their distant ancestors and where the rhythms of traditional music echo ancient tunes brought from far across the ocean. Their immigrant forefathers, of strong Munster stock, braved the harsh winds and tumultuous waves. By the mid-1800s, they comprised half the population of Newfoundland, leaving an indelible mark on the history, society and culture of the province. Through a unique musical lens, Cordeen will explore the legacy of the Irish in Newfoundland as they trace the story of traditional music, from songs of home to fresh new fusions.

The Music

Each of the band’s members brings a unique style of playing deeply influenced by the rhythms of their towns and villages, echoing the journeys they have taken to mastery. Waterford’s Benny McCarthy, founding member of iconic traditional music group Danú, is a soft-spoken player with a dry wit and a twinkle in his eye. Hailing from the rich musical heartland of Sliabh Luachra, Conor Moriority is an All-Ireland Accordion champion who learned to play at the knees of great players like John Brosnan and Jimmy Doyle. Graham Wells, previously of the renowned band The Irish Descendants, is a true blue Newfoundlander from St John’s whose grandfather passed down the art of the box by taking him to play at parties and dances across the island. Also from Newfoundland is Billy Sutton of popular trad/rock group The Fables- not only a master accordionist but a prodigious talent on the bouzouki, fiddle and mandola!


Photo Credits: (1)-(3) Cordeen / Benny McCarthy (unknown/website).

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