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Banjo tablatures for New River Train

Bill Monroe

Recomended level: Intermediate

Tags: #vocal song, #old time, #up-tempo

Here is an early country song that is still famous around bluegrass and old-time circles. The song was thought to have been related to the railroad lines located in the area of Southwestern Virginia. The new river train was part of the transport means that served the town of Fires from around 1893 to 1985. The melody has been recorded several times and has a description termed “Blue Ridge Mountain Standards,” and the first version was from Henry Whitter in 1924. Bill Monroe recorded it in 1930, and that was before he even became famous. Also, Sid Heakreader played guitar to accompany his vocals in 1925 while performing the song. The recording by oddity was in 1927, and it was done in key ‘G’ right there by the South Georgia Highballers, and they released the sing as Green River Train. One early performance by Kelly Harrell also happened in 1925, but his career was cut short because he couldn’t play the instrument well enough. There are lots of other versions but, they all have that unique blend of enjoyable bluegrass stint that makes them stand out.

  • Banjo New River Train Scruggs Style

    Scruggs Style

    This is a straightforward way to play the melody of New River Train using traditional phrasing and Scruggs playing.

    Banjo New River Train Scruggs Style
  • Banjo New River Train Melodic Style

    Melodic Style

    This melodic arrangement of New River Train gives you more to work with as far as licks and phrasing goes. There are some classic scale patterns and licks featuring in this version!

    Banjo New River Train Melodic Style
  • Banjo New River Train Backup


    This is a great demonstration of how to play up-the-neck backup and gradually move your way down the neck to the open positions.

    Banjo New River Train Backup