- This one is HOT! John Hardy is an old ballad written about a rough feller that lived in the late 1800's. This song has some great lyrics, but it's also played quite often as an instrumental! This song was recorded by the Carter Family in 1930, so the first break in this tab is reminiscent of Carter-style guitar. However, some of my favorite versions are from Doc Watson and Tony Rice, so I thought I'd weave you another break that has some of their type of licks in it. Find the full 30+ minute video lesson and tabs on the website!