The Hammond B3 Organ Sound is Hard to Describe

by: Ben Friedle

The Hammond B3 organ sound is hard to describe, but it feels something like being surrounded by the music. When you hear it in a club or intimate setting it becomes a centerpiece, like listening to many voices live. It creates so much texture and support for musicians and the crowd that I often say it's my favorite sound.

We reached out to Louis Pain and asked if he would give us a tour of the B3 and he graciously hosted us at his “Man Cave”, where we filmed for hours and talked all things B3, from its inventors and innovators to just straight up folklore. Later that evening we met back up for Louis’s standing gig with Mel Brown at Jimmy Mak’s and recorded some live playing there. To quote Louis, “It’s really strange to be playing this all solo, I would never do this normally.” So it was critical to experience the live set.

Honestly this piece could go on for 30 minutes and we struggled to define the scope of it because of how great the instrument is and our personal geeky obsession with it.

Ultimately the story landed on something that someone who never considered the Hammond B3 before would find interesting as well as someone who just downright loves it like me.

Louis Pain’s Website: http://www.louispain.com/

Some further listening: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdMYPQ7JZvTdnXc1SO-cduFixmktp8uI9

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