PBS was doing their annual fundraising this past week, and one of the featured acts was Irish Country Singer Daniel O'Donnell. He is an impressively good singer, but, of course, I zeroed right in on the accordion player who was not just playing a few good chords of backup. With a little research, I learned that the man is Ronnie Kennedy.
When Ronnie Kennedy was very young he went to see Jimmy Shand, playing in The Theatre Royal, in Dublin. He went home and asked his mother for an accordion. He was soon playing concerts at old folks' homes and for children's parties. As soon as he could he joined a band, eventually working with Johnny McEvoy.
When Daniel O'Donnell saw Ronnie play, he asked Ronnie to join their band, and they have now been together for over 20 years.
Kennedy plays traditional accordion music, but his expertise is such that you will not be left wishing that someone would stop the pain. Here's a video:
Ronnie Kennedy has released four albums of his music:
1999 - Those Were the Days (only available if you can find it used)
2003- Accordion Favourites
2003- Accordion Irish Melodies
2006- O Sole Mio
Ronnie Kennedy web site