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#164605 - 07/03/12 12:48 PM [User Showcase] ReggaeBilly or something like that.....
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9040
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9040
Loc: GA USA
Maybe it's the 105-110 degree heat keeping us from playing outdoors, e.g., kayaking and mountain biking. Maybe it's being retired and having too much time on our hands. Whatever the reason my wife and I embarked upon an effort to take a song we performed for years in our bluegrass band and set it to a Reggae rhythm.

The tune is based on a 250 year old English murder ballad called Pretty Polly or The Gotsport Tragedy. There are literally 100's of verses and variants so we chose the ones to tell the story the way we envisioned it which also included re-writing several verses. We also changed the melody somewhat to make it work with the dramatically different rhythm. Needless to say, years of Bluegrass picking made this effort, to say the least, challenging as we had listened to but never arranged a Reggae tune.

We used the BIAB for Mac slow Reggae RealTracks package and added to it a solo fiddle and rhythm mandolin from RealTracks. Finally, I used a RealTracks solo guitar track for fills and the outro. All tracks are BIAB RealTracks with the exception of the vocal that was recorded in GarageBand via a Blue mic. Multiple versions of all the tracks "cut and spliced" for the final mix with the exception of the vocal that was done in one take. The mixing was done in Garageband and exported as an AIFF file that I converted to MP3 for this link.

We wanted to make the song sound as haunting and melancholy as are many of the folk and bluegrass versions. Variations of the tune have been recorded in "mountain modal" tuning with the banjo being the prominent instrument. To try and approximate this we tried sustained chords but ended up doing the song in Bbm. We rested the temptation to add chords as it has been performed for hundreds of years with just the two.

I figure all we'll end up accomplishing is POing both the Reggae and Bluegrass folks --- but what the heck it was fun or least it was after we got the hang of the Reggae rhythmic structure.

Pretty Polly - Click Here

If you are a musicologist here is a great history of the tune:
The Gotsport Tragedy

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#164606 - 07/03/12 01:55 PM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 2646
Loc: Kentucky
PgFantastic Offline
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Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 2646
Loc: Kentucky
A great vocal performance. Style fits perfect.

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#164607 - 07/03/12 08:08 PM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: PgFantastic]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 16597
Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 16597
Loc: Australia
Hi Mootsman,

What a great arrangement and performance. This song is a credit to you both. It sparkles with professionalism on every possible level. The blues-meets-reggae worked incredibly well for me. I was engaged from start to stop.

Regards,
Noel
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#164608 - 07/04/12 12:08 AM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Noel96]
Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 6590
Loc: USA
Danny C. Offline
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Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 6590
Loc: USA
Very enjoyable listen.

Later,
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#164609 - 07/04/12 01:23 AM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Danny C.]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7765
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7765
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
I just love your wife's voice! Very nice experiment, and danged if you didn't make it work! Don't worry about offending the Bluegrass or reggae communities... if Bela Fleck can merge banjo with jazz, classical and various world styles and get away with it, you're home free.

Keep up the good work. I look forward to hearing more from you.

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#164610 - 07/04/12 03:49 AM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Pat Marr]
Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 2423
Loc: Warwickshire, UK
Skyline Offline
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Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 2423
Loc: Warwickshire, UK
A very enjoyable piece! The two styles feel so right together; as if they've always been bedfellows. You've gone and invented a new genre - yes, 'Reggae Billy' why not! Nicely arranged and engineered too. Thanks for sharing.

John
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#164611 - 07/23/12 06:40 PM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 11/08/02
Posts: 153
Loc: United Kingdom
Aubrey Offline
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Registered: 11/08/02
Posts: 153
Loc: United Kingdom
I think that this is a brilliant fusion of styles - it works perfectly for me. Great vocals, arrangement and production! This is the best showcase song I have heard so far.

One question - what is the realtracks guitar soloist that you have used? (I can recognise most of the other instruments).

Once again - really enjoyable!

Regards, Aubrey
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#164612 - 07/23/12 07:03 PM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Aubrey]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9040
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9040
Loc: GA USA
Thank all of you very much for your comments. It means a lot to us BIAB newbies.

Aubrey, the guitar track is Set 133 #1514 which is a Brent Mason slow country solo with the "bluesy" option. I moved some of the fills around during the mixing. I really struggled to find an electric guitar solo that I thought would work with the fiddle and not lose the melancholy feel that goes with the tune. I had originally tried a harmonics, a dobro and several other electric guitars but this one seemed to best fit the fusion notion. We are very pleased that you felt the same. Thanks for listening!

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#164613 - 07/23/12 07:07 PM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 3149
Loc: Murgon Queensland Australia
Rob4580 Offline
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Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 3149
Loc: Murgon Queensland Australia
Two thumbs up here.

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#164614 - 07/24/12 05:45 AM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Rob4580]
Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 57
Loc: Sydney, Australia
pinglis Offline
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Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 57
Loc: Sydney, Australia
The blend of styles works really well (and yes I bet it was hard to pull off) but most importantly the lead vocal sells it magnificently.
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#164615 - 07/24/12 09:35 AM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: pinglis]
Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1943
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
Steve Young Offline
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Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1943
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
Very interesting blend of styles. Works well. And of course, the vocals are stellar!

Steve
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#164616 - 07/24/12 12:04 PM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 07/09/12
Posts: 98
Loc: Nashville, TN
Mandolin Mike Offline
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Registered: 07/09/12
Posts: 98
Loc: Nashville, TN
Totally mesmerizing. You guys are great!
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#164617 - 07/25/12 01:39 AM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Mandolin Mike]
Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 405
jptjptjpt Offline
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Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 405
I'm confused. I thought this one was all ready posted. I know I've heard it before (and saw a video too). What gives?
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#164618 - 07/25/12 06:31 AM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: jptjptjpt]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9040
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9040
Loc: GA USA
Quote:

I'm confused. I thought this one was all ready posted. I know I've heard it before (and saw a video too). What gives?




I started this thread several weeks ago with the initial posting of our song. A while later we created the video and I initiated a thread with the vid. Then several days ago a post was made to the original thread (this one) which brought it to the top. I apologize if I was incorrect in starting a new thread with the video rather than just adding it to this one - pretty new here and learning.


Edited by Mootsman (07/25/12 10:50 AM)

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#164619 - 07/31/12 01:57 PM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 998
Loc: Maryland
SpaceDog Offline
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Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 998
Loc: Maryland
I really liked the vocal performance. Nice job.
I hope other folks pick up the raggae style. Really cool.
SD

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#164620 - 08/01/12 05:33 PM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: SpaceDog]
Registered: 07/09/12
Posts: 16
Anthony Fabulous Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/09/12
Posts: 16
Excellent through out.Sounds completely "natural" to me.Great job!
Regards,
Tony C

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#164621 - 08/02/12 07:28 AM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Anthony Fabulous]
Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 3551
Tommyc Offline
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Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 3551
Heck Yeah Mon! Your wife shore has a great voice!

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#164622 - 08/02/12 12:07 PM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Tommyc]
Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 4047
Loc: 80 Mi North of Sacramento CA
seeker Offline
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Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 4047
Loc: 80 Mi North of Sacramento CA
Mootsman,

Your right, this is a very sad song. Your wifes vocals
communicates this story very accurately.

The music is fantastic, but sad.
Could easily be used as soundtrack for a "Polly" movie.

So unusual and I agree with Skyline this "ReggaeBilly"
could easily be a new genre.


Edited by seeker (08/02/12 12:09 PM)
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#164623 - 10/04/12 04:43 PM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: seeker]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9040
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9040
Loc: GA USA
I just finished a remix which is hopefully the final mix of this tune. I added some effects to "round out" the bass for more of a classic Reggae sound and I also made some slight modifications to the drum track. I also made some changes to my wife vocal -- mainly adding a bit more compression. Perhaps not enough to warrant another listen but I did want to mention it. As always comments regarding the mix, arrangements, choice of realtracks, etc., are both solicited and appreciated. I'm here to learn.


PRETTY POLLY

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#164624 - 10/05/12 09:15 AM [User Showcase] Re: ReggaeBilly or something like that..... [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Massachusetts
BruceI Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Massachusetts
Wow, a very cool re-imagining of this traditional tune. The styles do blend quite nicely and the vocal is top-notch.

I just got my BIAB ultra package a few days ago, so I now have all the available RT styles, an embarrassment of riches. One of the first things I started to play with was a reggae reworking of an old countryish song of mine (I first tested this out with a reggae style in ChordBot on my iPod Touch). Now I will have to see if I can mash up some parts from other styles. This forum is very inspiring!

Thanks for sharing!

-Bruce
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