Custom mandolin case for Doyle Lawson made by Cody Shuler

We told you in November about the Gibson Bill Monroe Hall of Fame mandolin presented to Doyle Lawson at the Station Inn by David Harvey of Gibson. The mandolin, one of only seven ever made, is an exact replica of Big Mon’s instrument which now resides at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, in honor of Lawson’s long career in bluegrass music.

What we didn’t know until today was that a custom-made case was built for Doyle by Cody Shuler of Pine Mountain Railroad and his Cody Case Co. This one-of-a-kind case is covered in Ostrich skin and cowhide leather, and designed specifically for Doyle because of his love of western wear. It also features custom nickel/silver plates with Doyle’s name engraved by Ron Landis.

It was presented to Doyle this past weekend at the Jekyll Island Bluegrass Festival, his actual final performance with Quicksilver.

Shuler tells us that it was an honor for him to be commissioned to build this case, and that he even gave it a nickname before it left the shop.

“That particular case I named ‘The Stagecoach.’ One reason is that the leather I used is the same leather that is used on some luxury stagecoaches that are still being built. Second, when I think of Doyle as a band leader, there’s none one better at getting their band ready for the stage than him. He is the ultimate ‘Stage Coach.'”

Cody has been making these mandolin cases for several years, based on the original Gibson cases from the 1920s, with a few modern enhancements. These were the ones in which the iconic Loar-signed mandolins were shipped. After building one for himself, several people asked if he could make them one as well, and it has now become the family business.

“It’s actually a whole family deal with me. We’re the Cody Case Co. My wife Marianne does some sewing for the interior of the cases, and also made the really nice velvet sack that was on the case when presented to Doyle. That was her idea. From time to time I get my kids – Hyatt (11), Kade (9) and Scarlett (8) – to cut out and glue certain things, and they love it! I try to include them as much as I can.

We all signed the inside of Doyle’s case before I did the interior. That made them proud.”

Now there is a waiting list for these cases, which start at $1200.

Cody shared some additional photos, below. More details on the Cody Case Co can be found online.

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.