Pine Mountain Railroad release All-Gospel CD

Pine Mountain Railroad - Pickin, Praisin & SinginPine Mountain Railroad, now owned and managed by Bryson City, North Carolina, born Cody Shuler, released an all-Gospel collection on July 15.

Recently voted 2007 winner of the Bluegrass Gospel Song Of The Year award by Singing News magazine and backed with several Top 10 albums and songs on the Bluegrass Unlimited and Billboard charts, Pine Mountain Railroad has released its eighth album, Pickin’, Praisin’ & Singin’ Hymns From The Mountain (Rural Rhythm RHY-328).

The specially-priced 16-track album contains a mixture of gospel classics from yesterday with a few new songs that the group hope will become standards of the future.

Among the standards are Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies, a familiar and beloved hymn given a very-different-from-the-traditional treatment; How Beautiful Heaven Must Be; The Old Rugged Cross, on which Jerry Cole sings lead; What Would You Give In Exchange, performed as a true-to-tradition tribute to the Monroe Brothers; and Rock Of Ages, with intricate harmonising.

Less well known are Run On which was originally recorded by the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet in the 1920s and, later, by Elvis Presley. The Pine Mountain Railroad version is done with 5-part harmony and an original ending; The Gospel Ship, a relatively-obscure song, but one that has been around a long time; So High, done a cappella style; and I Bowed On My Knees and Cried Holy, from the black gospel music repertoire of the 1930s.

Alongside are newer compositions My Eye’s Shall Be On Canaan’s Land, which Shuler wrote just for this album; Blood Bought My Freedom; and Let’s Meet By The River, originally by The Spencers and a No.1 hit recording for them in Southern Gospel music market.

The recordings were done at Dale Perry’s Lakeside Studios in Moneta, Virginia. Perry also mixed and mastered the project, having particular regard to the specific way that Shuler wanted the vocal mix.

Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad comprises Shuler (mandolin and vocals), Bill McBee (bass and vocals), Matt ‘Scooter’ Flake (fiddle and vocals), Jerry Cole (guitar & vocals) and Dale Thomas (banjo and vocals).

Railroad Pickin’, Praisin’ & Singin’ Hymns From The Mountain is available for a special introductory price on the Rural Rhythm web site.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics.

A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.

He wrote the annotated series I’m On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.