Barry Morgans And His Organs

13 June 2012 | 5:30 am | Simon Eales

Barry Morgan is a very close friend of comedian and musician Stephen Teakle.

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Barry Morgan is Australia's foremost proponent of the “one-finger” organ-playing method. If you ever speak to Barry, he'll tell you, in his distinctly Adelaidean accent (pronouncing “sides” “sahds,” for example), that he can oftentimes be found pottering round his organ shop, Barry Morgan's World of Organs in Adelaide's Sunnyside Mall. Barry is pretty excited. His debut album, The Touch Of You, consisting entirely of organ music, is about to drop.

“I was doing a couple of groovy demonstrations somewhere – I can't remember where, they're all fading into one big party – and there was a lovely producer there from the Spicks And Specks,” he describes how he was 'discovered'. “You know those groovy people with those sort of rectangular-shaped architecture glasses?” he asks rhetorically. “I went to their office, and they were record people and they were very groovy. They had groovy padded stools. They allowed me to take the organ into the recording studio and we 'cut some sides', as they say in the industry.”

And thus Barry Morgan's album of organ-grinding wonder (“with no words!”) was born. Until now, Barry has only woven his organ magic at his Hammond Aurora Classic. “The reverb spring gives it that reverentiality. You're in the privacy of your own loungeroom, but you could be in any cathedral in Europe. Or an Adelaide church as a matter of fact.” Bazza's working with premium gear.

“When I tour now I'm running twin Leslies. There're two big Leslie speakers on the roof, and to strap it onto the top of the Toyata Crown Royal Saloon: you should see it! … And then I run into some 'groover' in a Tarago coming from a festival and he's got all the same equipment on a 4GB USB stick! … There's no hiding it. I pack a lot of wood.”

And rather than taking his cues from other organ lovers like Baby Cortez, The Doors or Sheryl Crow, Barry is “actually quite inspired by the technicians in that lovely period of time in the late '70s and '80s. They were making these machines. Hard-wired, pre-digital … Some of the bass lines and some of the grooves that they've wired up inside the organ to play, if you show them to your musician friends they say, “My goodness, that's so groovy!

“I don't think these guys were necessarily musicians as such. They were technicians with soldering irons, and I love that … Sometimes when I've had a couple of Camparis I really start to imagine those musicians inside the organ, grooving it out together!”

“I'd say it's probably a good record to put on while you're warming the garlic, getting ready to pop a Pinot. And afterwards, when you've had a few Pinots and you're feeling a bit glee, then you can have a nice little Bossa Nova. Push the kitchen table against the wall, let your hair down and away you go.”