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April 17, 2023  -  User Showcase Song - Pretty Polly

For quite a while we’ve wanted to remake our first forum post from eleven years ago. It’s a complete “start over” with Peter on guitar and Janice’s new vocals and her cajon playing. The tune is based on a 250 year old English murder ballad “The Gotsport Tragedy” later known as “Pretty Polly.” There are literally scores of verses and variants on the theme. We performed this with our bluegrass band back in the day in the typical uptempo style. So does reggae + hillbilly = reggaebilly?

Pretty Polly

Our objective was to make the song sound as haunting and melancholic as are the many folk 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 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. Also we hoped to pay homage to its roots with Peter’s acoustic guitar and brief fiddle bits.

Thanks to Peter, PG Music and to you for your time to listen and, as always, comments are welcomed and appreciated - even if reggae isn’t your genre

Janice: lead/harmony vocals, cajon & arrangement
Peter: guitar solo/fills - Variax emulating a Martin D28.
Bud: mix, mastering, arrangement, photo, etc.
lead/harmony vocals > Rodes NT1 mic > Scarlett Interface > Logic Pro X > Nectar
Bass: RealTracks 1157 Reggae > Waves Bass Rider > Neutron 3 (pieced together from multiple tracks)
Drums: RealDrums Reggae Classic > Waves ClA Drums
(includes bits from multiple tracks)
Cajon > MXL Mic > Scarlett Interface > Logic Pro X > Waves CLA Drums
Rhythm Guitar: RealTracks 1158 Rhythm Reggae > Chromaverb
Organ: RealTracks 1159 B3 Rhythm Reggae > Logic Pro X Direction Mixer > Chromaverb
Fiddle: RealTracks 624 Soloist George > Waves CLA Unplugged > Ozone Imager
Mastering: Ozone Dynamic EQ > Ozone Vintage EQ > Ozone Imager > Ozone Maximizer > Izotope Tonal Balance > Logic Pro X Loudness Meter

Posted on April 17, 2023 10:59 AM

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