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California Banjo Extravaganza: “The Train That Carried My Girl from Town”

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Bill Evans, Joe Newberry, and Danny Barnes play a three-banjo version of the popular bluegrass song.

by Dan Gabel
January 12, 2017

Peghead Nation banjo instructor Bill Evans hosted the 2016 California Banjo Extravaganza with guests Joe Newberry and Danny Barnes, headlining six concerts and holding a Banjo Mini-Camp.

During the tour's stop at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, California, Bill, Joe, and Danny took a few minutes to play this three-banjo version of “The Train That Carried My Girl from Town” in the Freight's lobby. Later in the evening, they played the song with the Extravaganza's all-star band, including Peghead Nation instructors Chad Manning and Sharon Gilchrist, along with mandolin great John Reischman and guitar master Jim Nunally. You can see that version of the song here on Peghead Nation as well.

The song dates back to the early 1900’s, with Piedmont blues songwriter and musician Frank Hutchinson recording the track in 1926. Influential versions by Ola Belle Reed, Doc Watson, and Wade Mainer followed, and the song has been a popular selection in bluegrass and old-time circles since.

Learn banjo with Bill Evans in his Beginning Banjo and Bluegrass Banjo courses on Peghead Nation.


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Nov 24, 2020
A great mandolin duet of Sarah Jarosz’s original tune, recorded live at the Marshall Mandolin Summit.

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