Tony MacMahon is a traditional musician and former television producer in RTÉ, Ireland. He’s an excellent button accordion player. Some of his famous songs include Old Hag You Have Killed Me from Old Hag You Have Killed Me, The Kesh Jig / Give Us a Drink of Water / Famous Ballymote from After Hours, Fionnghuala (Old Hag You Have Killed Me) and Do You Love an Apple?
Accordionist Joe Cooley happens to be Tony MacMahon's chief inspiration. Other inspirations include fiddler Bobby Casey and piper Willie Clancy.
He got in touch with fiddler John Kelly and accordionist Sonny Brogan while he trained as a teacher in Dublin. He accredits his playing of slow airs to piper and singer Seamus Ennis as well, who had been his flat mate during his stay in New York.
MacMahon plays his accordion in the "press-and-draw" style which he learnt from his mentor Joe Cooley. He is known be an exceptionally powerful performer, especially his slow air performances. MacMahon has been described as an ‘iconic figure in traditional music circles’.
He was a founder member of the band Seachtair, now The Bothy Band, in the year 1974.
MacMahon worked with RTÉ for quite a long duration. He joined as a presenter of traditional-music TV programmes. Later he became a radio producer (he started off the long running show The Long Note). He made a comeback to television with the shows The Pure Drop and Come West Along the Road. The TV series The Green Linnet, aired in 1979 documented MacMahon's travels throughout Western Europe along with banjoist Barney McKenna in a green Citroën 2CV van (nickname The Green Linnet). He retired from RTÉ in the year 1998.
He articulated strong criticism of modern trends in the Irish traditional music performance, particularly of growing commercialism.
In the year 2014, MacMahon made an announcement that he would no longer be able to continue with public performances as he suffered from Parkinson's disease.
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