They came, they saw, they squeezed. Make all the jokes you want, but the accordion is scoring big these days with amateur and professional musicians alike. Indeed, popular musicians such as Sheryl Crow, Hootie & the Blowfish, Pearl Jam and the Counting Crows are helping to put the squeeze box back in the spotlight.
"We've noticed a national increase in interest," says Faithe Deffner, president of the American Accordionists' Association. "A lot of young people are picking it up."
And why not? According to Deffner, accordions are the ultimate in fun. "It's a very warm and casual instrument," she says. "It's something you hold close to you."
What's more, accordion music is listener-friendly as well. How else to explain why the recent release of a three-CD set commemorating the Chinese-invented instrument is squeezing the pockets of today's music buyers?
"I think this comeback--if you want to call it a comeback--will have great longevity," predicts Deffner, who points to the early 1970s as the last outbreak of accordion mania. "It will become a very highly accepted instrument."
Play it again, Sheryl.