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Photo of Joe Smiell Band

Joe Smiell Band

Joe Smiell, of Austro-Hungarian descent, escaped a life of being an indentured coal miner by winning a scholarship to the Peabody Conservatory.  His father, who died of black-lung disease at the age of 52, would often sing with the other coal miners to raise their spirits.  Joe never forgot the simple tunes which led to his all-encompassing love of folk music.  Although Joe’s dad tried to dissuade him from taking up the button box, in 1983 Joe began mastering this instrument.  The button box (or diatonic accordion) has a unique quality that’s wonderful when playing the folk songs for which it was intended.=

Joe’s two sons have their father’s gift for music.  Ed Smiell plays classical guitar while Joe Junior, like his father, is proficient on both the clarinet and accordion.  Joe’s daughter-in-law, Sally Ann Smiell, is a talented vocalist who specializes in Austrian music and she often sings with them, as well.


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