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Banjo tablatures for John Hardy

Bill Monroe

Recomended level: Intermediate

Tags: #vocal song, #instrumental, #bluesy, #old time

"John Hardy" is a traditional American folk song based on a train worker's life in the spring of 1893 in McDowell County, West Virginia. It is assumed that the legendary John Hardy got into a drunken fight during a craps game held near Keystone, and a man named Thomas Drews was subsequently killed. In the first degree, Hardy was found guilty of murder and was hanged on January 19, 1894, reportedly witnessed by 3,000 men. It is assumed that Hardy had made peace with the Lord by being immersed in a stream the day before his burial. The track was attributed to Eva Davis for Columbia in 1924, to Ernest Stoneman for Okeh in 1925, and to Buell Kazee for Brunswick in 1927 by various musicians from the 1920s through the present. Lyrics differ from edition to version, as with many other traditional folk songs. The ballads of John Hardy and John Henry were misunderstood by early folk historians. This has contributed to a combination of Hardy and Henry-related stories. The real John Henry was simply a truck maker, not a train operator.

  • Banjo John Hardy Scruggs Style

    Scruggs Style

    This version of John Hardy is loosely based on Bela Fleck's arrangement on Tony Rice's Cold on the Shoulder Record. It's super driving!

    Banjo John Hardy Scruggs Style
  • Banjo John Hardy Melodic Style

    Melodic Style

    A melodic version of John Hardy featuring both melodic and single string styles to give you a technical and flashy break.

    Banjo John Hardy Melodic Style
  • Banjo John Hardy Backup


    This backup arrangement of John Hardy goes fluidly between vamping chords and playing classic Scruggs style backup licks.

    Banjo John Hardy Backup