The Song and the Process. Polly’s Rain Dance by Johnny Bregar


The first time I heard Polly’s Rain Dance I was immediately grabbed by its swinging groove and cool guitar licks. The song about girl singing in a hot town desperate for rain is a bit ironic for Johnny Bregar who writes and lives in the Pacific Northwest. They’ve been known to get more than their share of rain .  Johnny is from the Seattle area and is part of the kindiependent artists (a collection of kindie artists from the Seattle Area that play shows and produce songs) and not only a singer/ songwriter but an engineer/ producer(has his own studio), plus he plays multiple instruments on his own CD’s…  Phew. He’s a one man recording industry! But I digress…   How Polly’s Rain Dance came to be is so cool.   Mr Bregar had just gotten himself a smaller vox amp and a Gibson 339 semi-hollow body and he was trying them out.  wpid-DV016_Jpg_Large_515256.015_antique_vintage_sunburst.jpgTest driving his new acquisitions as musicians tend to do.   Working out some Bluesy chords in G Major7 and loving the sound. Songs develop in many ways.  Some write the words, some write the music, some find melodies. Bregar is inspired by instruments and in this case his Gibson 339 Semi Hollow Body and Vox amp and the vibe and riffs he’s getting from them. They then lead him to lyrics of a sort.  He vocal riffing to the rhythm developed from the instrument guitar riffs he’s been working out. Vocals have become counter balance.   Just feeling the melody.   On this day he’s got the Gibson with the Vox all crunchy with a Les Paul/BB King/ New Orleans grove going and it’s just hot.  It’s summer drought hot.  He also likes when kids can identify with the subject and imagine where and what they’re (Polly) is going through.  But first he visualized it from a boy’s perspective but no! This is a girls song. He makes that change. But the song is still very hot. It’s so hot it needs to rain. Boom! Rain Dance Song! He now has the idea and a first verse.  Then he calls in his drummer friend Josh Labell.  Josh got a whole Bo Diddley/ New Orleans groove to go with what Johns got and the magic is happening. It’s on fire! Now he’s got to captue this sound and OH YEAH! Johnny wpid-4038-1.jpgBregar is in his own studio. To capture the sound he’s created he uses a Coles 4038 ribbon mic and an SM57.  Just because you hear a sound live doesn’t mean you can capture it correctly in a studio (The proper tools and engineers are what make that happen).  John grabs his guitar and leaves the Pro Tools running.  Then there is layering of bass and vocals and all the other incidentals. He considers days like this like an artist throwing paint on a canvass. He’s in the zone and his tools are his mics, amps, guitars, basses, etc.  He’s in the zone and he has the tools to paint the canvas.  John says something good always comes out on days like this.  I’d say Polly’s Rain Dance was a very, very good day indeed! (Events do not actually happen in one day but you get the idea.)  Johnny’s looking to start on a new CD in the spring and we will be looking forward to it.  So go check out his website and go buy a CD today!  In the meantime checkout a live version of the amazing Polly’s Rain Dance!


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