John Reagan
Drums and Percussion

Date Last Modified:
January 4, 2006

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Layin it down
at the Saratoga Fair

There's a song called "Mamas Don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys (or Drummers)", but for better or worse that's what happened to John. After only forty years of therapy, it turns out John really can blame it on his mom. You see, she actually played the drums as a kid so there's no doubt he ended up with those recessive genes. Her old kit was where he got his start. They were a thing of beauty, all three drums and one cymbal. Didn't stop him from playing along with songs on the record player or radio for hours on end at 12 years of age. (actually there was nothing else to do in Rathbone where he grew up, except watch the train go by at 8am or work on the farm)

John started playing out in bars in a country band back home in Corning, NY when he was 16 with full parental escort, (they do something similar at Crossgates Mall these days). From age 18-21 He put a little bread on the table while going to college with a duo act doing big band songs, (it's amazing how far $25 for a gig went back in the 70's)

John had to think hard about who his musical influences where way back when. Turns out not all of them were so wonderful, but he shouldn't blame his high school music teacher being a little upset when he couldn't play and march at the same time. He solved that by only playing on the traps. Well let's see, in drumming there are 26 rudimentary skills, and as far as we know he is 80% proficient at 5 of the 26, the rest he has learned to fake.

He moved to Albany area in 1979 and hooked up with his good buddy Dave St. Louis. Dave and John have played together in the Boothill Band since that time barring a brief 3 year period when they worked on separate projects. According to John the best part of playing with his buddies is sharing jokes, working endlessly on the songs in practice, and heading out to the diners at 2am after a gig dead tired when everything seems too funny.

Over the years John has opened for several country acts including: Farron Young, Mel McDaniels, and the Charlie Daniels Band, as well as competed in numerous local Country Showdowns. Check the web site for the Country Fest 2003 photos.

When it comes to professional drummers, two drummers are high on his list, Kenny Aronoff and Rod Morgenstein. He has had the privilege of seeing both during drum clinics and was totally impressed. Check out their web sites, they're cool. Kenny summed it up pretty good for John:

"It doesn't matter what your skill set is when it comes to drumming,
just play every note from your heart with meaning and enthusiasm".


Currently John is playing a set of Premier "Resonator"drums purchased in 1984 at the Drummer's Workshop in Rotterdam where he presently lives. His cymbals are trusty Zildgians including: 14" New Beat Hi-Hats, 16 Medium Thin Crash, 18" Medium Ride, and 18" Rock Crash. Miking the kit is done with a Shure SM57 on the snare, a Shure AG condenser on the high hats. The kick and three toms are electronically triggered through a Roland TDK-8 Percussion Sound module Roland US using Roland RT-3T electronic triggers on the Toms and RT-7K trigger for the bass drum. A Roland KB500 amplifier serves as a stage monitor for the kit. A line out to the sound board from the amp completes the circuit. The band recently purchased a Peavy Impulse® 115P Powered Subwoofer Peavey that delivers a powerful bottom for the drums and bass.

See John's thoughts and comments after The Boothill Band opened WGNA's CountryFest 2003 included in The Saratogian's review of the day-long concert

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