Ladies and gentlemen, meet accordion number four, an Iorio “accorgan” (which I assume is a combination of “accordion” and “organ”):
I’ve heard of these things before — they’re acoustic accordions with
some electronic components and switches that suggest that they’re like
electronic organs. According to Wendy, the accordion has a number of
electric switches and volume dials not unlike old-school electronic
organs; I suspect that it could be plugged into an amplifier for REAL
This lucky find never would’ve happened without Wendy. She was riding home on the bus when she overheard a woman talking to the bus driver.
“Who can I give my father’s accordion to?” the woman asked.
Wendy, who says that her ears perk up whenever she hears the word “accordion” (aww…) approached the woman and said “My fiance plays the accordion! You could give it to him!”
And so an arrangement was made. Last Saturday, they met at Dunkin’
Donuts, where the woman gave Wendy the accordion, which was wrapped up
in duct tape and garbage bags.
“It must’ve looked like a drug deal,” Wendy said.
She brought it back, played a couple of notes for me over the phone so
I could hear it (it might need a little tuning) and took the picture
above. She says it “smells like a bar”, to which I said “Good! That
means it has stories.”
And now the Iorio sits in her living room, waiting for my next visit.
She says it’s strange having an accordion in her house, but no guy. Soon, sweetie, soon!
My fiancee is nothing short of amazing.
Murphy’s Law string band has “transmoogafied” into a traditional
Cajun band. Caity’s been pulling out the squeezebox and making noise at
folkfests and dances around the state of Florida including the
recent Cajun Cafe On The Bayou’s Fais Do-Do Fest ’99 held in Pinellas
Park FL in early October.
Thanks for the heads-up, Liz!
Wendy Plays Accordion
Quirky singer-songwriter Wendy McNeill
is also a convert to the accordion. For her third album, Such a Common Bird, she’s taken up
the accordion as both songwriting and performance instrument. Bravo!
She’s put a couple of tracks online, both of which are quite good:
Soon to be a Respectable Instrument
And finally, here’s the last paragraph of an article from the September edition of Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, EnRoute.
The article is about the ukelele (an equally-maligned instrument,
easily be applied to the accordion:
it will become impossible to continue to associate the ukelele with
novelty acts. And Hawaii itself will no longer be considered to
be one big Elvis movie, augmented by happy dancing natives, wacky
cocktails and tacky tiki. This sort of thing has happened before. At
the beginning of the 20th century, for instance, a certain instrument
was associated only with vaudeville comics and horn-honking clowns. All
it took was a single virtuoso to reform that instrument’s reputation.
That man was Coleman Hawkins, and the instrument was the tenor saxophone.