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Bluegrass recording artist Kody Norris strengthens hometown roots

Bluegrass recording artist Kody Norris, right, is joined by Mountain City, TN Mayor, Kevin Parsons while being honored with his name added to the town’s welcome sign. Photo by Tia Thomas

By Tamas Mondovics

Hailing from the northeastern mountains of Tennessee, local bluegrass recording artist and songwriter Kody Norris landed a pair of blessings last week, both of which are closely tied to his love for music, his fans, and his dream.
For starters, Norris was proud to receive recognition by his hometown of Mountain City, Tennessee, after his name was added to the city’s welcome sign.
“I am very flattered to see my name on such a sign,” Norris said. “I am very proud of my hometown and try to represent my community in a positive manner throughout the world. I feel very humbled to be honored in such a way.”
Mountain City Mayor, Kevin Parsons, joined Norris during the new sign revealing ceremony.
Of course, the most significant event in the young artist’s life came just a few yards north of the sign at his newly renovated home, while exchanging marriage vows with Mary Rachel Nalley, a seasoned musician, and performer of The Kody Norris Show. Rachel is known as a skilled multi-instrumentalist, who has played the mandolin for The Kody Norris Show in previous years, but now fills the fulltime role as fiddler. Since Kody’s onstage proposal, Rachell is also known as “sweetie.”
The ceremony was held outside Kody’s home in Mountain City, which thanks to clear blue skies and the abundance of a bright yellow sunflower-décor, lacked no evidence of the newlywed’s musical heritage and love for the beauty of the region.
Now at age 31, Kody has played professionally since 2005 and has clearly reached a considerable measure of success. Today he and his band continue to be loved and supported by the community that had faith in him since he was a young boy.
Kody began his musical journey at the age of nine singing in local churches, which led to his love for the sound of bluegrass. Family and friends stepped up to the plate to ensure keeping Kody on his musical course.
Today, Kody and the band is proud of its 15 albums recorded including nearly 70 songs written by him, many of which have been recorded by numerous artists.
“I am very anxious to see what God has in store for us in both our business and personal lives,” he said, just days after his marriage to Rachel.
In 2011, Rachel began touring with the Eastern Kentucky-based, all-girl band, Hazel Holler. She joined The Kody Norris Show in late 2014.
“Kody is so career-driven, and I love being a part of his dream,” Rachel said.
As for what is next for the newlyweds and the band, Rachel looked back to recent times as a way to spring forward to tomorrow when she said, “We are so proud of our home. Kody and I both are old souls and love that we were presented with an opportunity to own, restore, and call home to such a piece of Mountain City history.
The last three years we have devoted all our home time to the restoration of this house. I am now ready to focus on Us.”
Demonstrating their love for music, each other and their fans, tying the knot did not mean slowing down.
The pair, along with groomsman and bandmate Josiah Tyree, took a break from their reception festivities to make a surprise appearance at the WBCM – Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time Show where the band played their new song, “The Love Bug,” in front of a packed house at the Paramount Theater during Bristol’s Annual Rhythm and Roots Reunion.

“As for business, as usual, we performed on our wedding night after an invitation from Rhythm and Roots held over the weekend in Bristol was extended to us,” Rachel said adding, “Then right back on the road doing what we love best.”