Cody Shuler is one of the many great Smoky Mountain bluegrass artists who began his career playing for Raymond Fairchild‘s Maggie Valley Opry House. Raised in Bryson City, Shuler began to learn the mandolin at the age of thirteen. He started his nightly gig in Maggie Valley when he was fifteen years old, and played there all through his high school years. He appeared on stage at the Grand Ole Opry with Raymond Fairchild, and back home in Swain County taught young musicians in the Junior Appalachian Musicians program.
Graduating from high school in 2004, Shuler joined Pine Mountain Railroad, and just a couple of years later, in 2006, he became the leader, manager, and part-owner of the successful band. He is thought to be the youngest leader of a touring bluegrass band of Pine Mountain Railroad’s stature. Their 2007 album Alone with Forever was highly successful, with their song “Captain” becoming the number-one bluegrass single on XM Satellite Radio. The opening track, “Clementine,” one of Shuler’s three original compositions on the album, stayed on Bluegrass Unlimited’s top-30 chart for months.
Pine Mountain Railroad also features Matt Flake, Bill Thomas, and Jerry Cole. Trading off on lead with his band mates, Shuler’s tenor voice adds a distinctive tone to the band’s high harmonies. A Bluegrass Unlimited reviewer, commenting on Alone with Forever, wrote that “[Shuler’s] leadership has seen the band perfect that high-lonesome sound and place it in a contemporary setting.” With a name change, Cody Shuler and Pine Mountain Railroad released an all-gospel album called Hymns from the Mountains.
The band has a busy schedule of performances throughout the South and beyond, but every December they come back to Shuler’s hometown of Bryson City for the Annual Cody Shuler and Pine Mountain Railroad Christmas Show at Swain County High School.
Pine Mountain Railroad is available for concert and festival appearances.